Euro 2024: Belgium sticks with 25-man selection in its final squad; Leaves Courtois out

Belgium named 25 players, one less than the number allowed for the tournament in Germany but have still left Thibaut Courtois out of the squad.

Published : Jun 07, 2024 17:50 IST , BRUSSELS - 2 MINS READ

Belgium announced Euro 2024 squad.
Belgium announced Euro 2024 squad. | Photo Credit: AFP

Belgium announced Euro 2024 squad. | Photo Credit: AFP

Belgium will take 25 players to the European Championship after deciding not to add an extra name to the squad despite inviting two young players to train with them over the last week, coach Domenico Tedesco said on Friday.

Belgium have already named 25 players -- one less than the number allowed for the tournament in Germany -- but invited Arne Engels and Mandela Keita to train with the squad this week, sparking speculation that one of them could be added by Friday’s midnight deadline.

But Tedesco confirmed neither would be going to tournament.

“We have decided to go to the European Championship with 25,” he told a press conference.

“It’s all about the group spirit. I didn’t want to disappoint a young player. I have always been clear that we would go to Germany with 25.”

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This is despite the coach confirming there remained question marks over the fitness of defenders Jan Vertonghen and Arthur Theate.

The 37-year-old Vertonghen, who is Belgium’s most capped international with 154 appearances, is struggling to shake off a groin injury while left back Theate has an ankle injury.

“It won’t be long before Vertonghen is back. Of course it is not easy for him to be on the sidelines, but he is an important player in our selection,” said Tedesco, confirming Theate would be out for a while longer.

Tedesco confirmed that Bundesliga-based Koen Casteels will be the first-choice goalkeeper for Belgium, who are without Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois. Casteels will play in the last warm-up game against Luxembourg in Brussels on Saturday and also at Euro 2024.

“The other goalkeepers are also top goalkeepers, but it was details that ensured that Casteels became the first goalkeeper,” said Tedesco.

Belgium’s first game at Euro 2024 is against Slovakia in Frankfurt on June 17.

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