Belgium to make last-gasp Kompany call; Benteke snubbed

Belgium will leave it as late as possible to decide whether Vincent Kompany will be fit for the World Cup after the Manchester City captain was named in the 23-man squad.

The 32-year-old defender suffered a groin injury during Belgium’s goalless draw with Portugal in Brussels on Saturday and was due to have a scan on Sunday.

Manager Roberto Martinez decided to kept Kompany in the squad after reducing it from the original 28 to the 23 who will make the trip to Russia.

Martinez revealed he would wait until closer to Belgium’s World Cup opener against Panama on June 18 before making a decision on whether to play Kompany.

After naming his 23-man squad Martinez told a press conference: “Until 24 hours before (Belgium v Panama) we can still make a replacement. We need to wait a period of seven, eight days with Vincent Kompany. Then we will get a good opportunity to make a diagnosis.

“Vincent Kompany is a true leader. He performed in a fantastic manner when he was on the pitch. His leadership is essential for us.”

There was, though, disappointment for Crystal Palace forward Christian Benteke, who did not make the final 23-man cut.

Martinez said: “Christian Benteke has been the toughest decision, but it is for the balance of the squad.

“We have two number 9’s – Michy Batshuayi and Romelu Lukaku have taken those positions.”

Belgium are in Group G in the World Cup where they will also face Tunisia and then England in Kaliningrad on June 28.


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