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Penpix of Belgium squad for World Cup finals

Reuters | Friday, Jun 6, 2014

Belgium's players run during a training session on the first day of the training camp of the Belgian national football team "Red Devils" in Genk, on Monday 19 May 2014, ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

BRUSSELS- Belgium's squad for the World Cup finals comprises the following 23 players:

Goalkeepers

Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea) Age 22; 16 caps.

Has played three seasons for Atletico Madrid on loan from Chelsea, winning the Europa League in 2012, award for Spanish league's best goalkeeper in 2012/13 along with La Liga title this season and an appearance in the Champions League final. Clear number one for Belgium.

Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) Age 26; 15 caps.

Has had great first season at Liverpool, including late penalty save in Premier League opener against Stoke. Comment that he wanted to be Belgium's No.1 created some ill feeling with Courtois.

Sammy Bossut (Zulte Waregem) Age 28; 0 caps.

Arguably the luckiest man on the plane, owing his selection and first start, in an unofficial friendly against Luxembourg, to a series of keeper injuries. Bossut, who has played more than 200 times for first division Zulte Waregem hastily cancelled a planned holiday with his wife to Crete after his call-up.

Defenders

Toby Alderweireld (Atletico Madrid) Age 25; 33 caps.

Most likely pick for right-back spot, though can play in the centre. Alderweireld has struggled to get a regular club football after his move last summer to Atletico Madrid from Ajax, but is first choice at national level.

Laurent Ciman (Standard Liege) Age 28; 8 caps.

Not actually played for Belgium since October 2011 although a regular member of Belgium squads under coach Marc Wilmots. Can play at right back or in the centre of defence. Might not feature in Brazil.

Vincent Kompany (Manchester City) Age 28; 58 caps.

Born in Brussels of Congolese father and Belgian mother, Belgium's captain has played for his country since he was 17. Solid and committed in defence, he is comfortable bringing ball forward and useful with his head at corners. Also captain of English champions Manchester City, he won Premier League player of the season in 2011-2012. Has been hit by variety of injuries.

Nicolas Lombaerts (Zenit St Petersburg) Age 29; 25 caps.

Left-back but also central defender. Along with Van Buyten, is also most likely pick in case of injury to first-choice defenders. Was studying law at Ghent University until his move to Zenit in 2007.

Daniel Van Buyten (Bayern Munich) Age 36; 78 caps.

Only one of Belgian squad with World Cup finals experience, playing in 2002 tournament. Has generally been on bench for Bayern this season, also his likely starting place in Belgium's squad. That he is top scorer, with 10 goals, shows squad's inexperience.

Anthony Vanden Borre (Anderlecht) Age 26; 24 caps.

Had looked out of the running until a second-half appearance in the 2-2 draw with Ivory Coast, his first cap in more than two years, the reward for a fine season at Anderlecht. Principally is cover at right back offering a few more options in attack.

Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal) Age 28; 47 caps.

Arsenal captain struggled with injury early in the season and lost starting berth with Premier League side. Left-footer is keen to push forward and is still most likely partner of Kompany in central defence.

Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur) Age 27; 55 caps.

Capable central defender, usually his most common club role, but has been used as left-back for both his club and Belgium this season, despite his apparent dislike for position. One of three defenders that made their professional debuts at Ajax Amsterdam.

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