The Belgian national team will miss its striker Romelu Lukaku for at least its first two matches in the group stage of the Qatar World Cup, which starts on Sunday, according to a source told AFP on Sunday.

The Italian Inter striker was not with the team in the first open exercise in front of the media since his arrival in Doha on Friday night, Saturday, due to a left thigh injury.

The Spanish coach of Belgium, Roberto Martinez, decided to call Lukaku to the squad for the finals, despite the injury suffered by the best scorer in the history of the national team (68 goals in 102 games), despite his admission that the 29-year-old was “not physically fit.”

During his announcement of the squad for the finals on the tenth of this month, the coach, who led Belgium to third place in the last edition in Russia in 2018, said that the striker is undergoing treatment and has ten days until the eve of the first match in Group F against Canada on November 23, “Ke He is fully recovering.”

But he did not recover in time, which would make him out of the team for the first two matches against Canada and Morocco, at the very least, according to the source.

Lukaku suffered from an injury to the posterior muscle of his left thigh, which kept him out of action since late August, before returning on October 26.

Lukaku crowned his return with a goal against Victoria Pilsen, Czech Republic, 4-0, in the penultimate fifth round of the Champions League competition, when he entered as a substitute.

He also participated as a substitute in the 3-0 victory over Sampdoria in the Italian League, but he was injured again early this month, which raised serious doubts about his ability to play in the World Cup.

Martinez was expecting the difficulty of Lukaku’s participation in the group stage, saying during the squad announcement that he hoped to be ready at least for the second round of the World Cup after the three matches of Group F, which also includes Croatia.

In Lukaku’s absence, Martinez is likely to resort to Turkish Fenerbahçe striker Michy Batshuayi, who started in the last preparatory match, which the Belgians lost 2-1 to Egypt on Friday.

Batshuayi left his place to French Lens striker Louis Openda, who scored the goal to reduce the difference in the 76th minute of the match that was held in Kuwait.

By admin