World Cup 2022: Red Devils just one friendly game away from World Cup in Qatar
The Red Devils will gather at the Proximus Basecamp in Tubize on Monday. From there, the Belgian national team will leave on Tuesday for Kuwait, where it will play a friendly game against Egypt on Friday, 18 November, in preparation for the World Cup in Qatar. The Red Devils will then head to base camp in Qatar.
On Friday, 18 November, at 4 pm CET, the Red Devils will play their first and last friendly game against Egypt at Jaber Al-Ahmad stadium. After the game, the Belgian national team will leave for their base camp in Qatar.
"This offers the opportunity to prepare for a major tournament in a specific way, focusing on the special fulfilment of our time. Playing against an African opponent in a Middle Eastern country fulfils all facets of our preparation in this respect," Red Devils coach Roberto Martinez said.
Four years ago, the Red Devils also played a friendly game against Egypt ahead of the World Cup 2018. Then the Red Devils won 3-0 at Belgium's King Baudouin Stadium after goals from Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Marouane Fellaini. Egypt was still a World Cup participant then, which is not the case this time.
The Red Devils will kick off their World Cup adventure against Canada on Wednesday, 23 November. Morocco will be their second opponent on Sunday, 27 November. In their final group game, the Belgians take on vice-world champion Croatia on Thursday, 1 December.
Earlier this week, Martinez already announced the selection for the World Cup in Qatar, including goalkeepers Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Simon Mignolet (Club Brugge) and Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg), who also participated in the 2018 World Cup.
Toby Alderweireld (Antwerp), Jan Vertonghen (Anderlecht), Thomas Meunier (Dortmund), Timothy Castagne (Leicester City), Leander Dendoncker (Aston Villa), Wout Faes (Leicester City), Arthur Théate (Rennes) and Zeno Debast (Anderlecht) are the defenders on duty.
In midfield, Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Thorgan Hazard (Dortmund), Axel Witsel (Atletico Madrid), Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid), Youri Tielemans (Leicester City), Hans Vanaken (Club Brugge) and Amadou Onana (Everton) will have to defend Belgium's honour.
Eden Hazard (Real Madrid), Charles De Ketelaere (AC Milan), Jeremy Doku (Rennes), Michy Batshuayi (Fenerbahçe), Leandro Trossard (Brighton & Hove Albion), Dries Mertens (Galatasaray), Romelu Lukaku (Inter) and Lois Openda (Lens) will join the team as strikers.
Red Devils' head coach Roberto Martinez (R) speaks during a press conference to present the squad of Belgium's national football team for the upcoming FIFA 2022 Qatar World Cup, at the Red Devils Base camp in Tubize, on November 10, 2022.
© JOHN THYS / AFP