TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Romelu Lukaku confirmed not to play when Belgium face Canada in Group F opener World Cup 2022, Thursday morning WIB, November 24. Coach Roberto Martinez hasn’t been able to determine when the 29-year-old striker will be able to appear.
Romelu Lukaku has only been capped three times since returning to Inter Milan on loan from Chelsea last summer through injury hamstrings. Doubtful to enter the Belgian workforce, the player who conceded 68 goals in 102 international matches was nevertheless brought to Qatar.
“I can’t say if he (will come back) for the second or the third game,” Martinez said. “If I follow the medical advice, it will be Game 3. If I follow the feelings of the players, maybe we will have a chance for Game 2.”
Belgian captain, Eden Hazard, as Lukaku. He’s only made six appearances, including two for Real Madrid under Carlo Ancelotti this season.
“It’s a tough situation in terms of minutes played,” Martinez said. “But we’re a better team when Eden Hazard is in the dressing room, that’s for sure.”
In the second match of Group F, Belgium take on Morocco on Sunday, November 27, before taking on 2018 world runners-up Croatia in the final match of the group stage on Thursday, December 1.
Canada is ready to face any team
Canadian midfielder Jonathan Osorio stressed that his team is ready to compete with the best teams in the world, where Belgium is included in this category. Even without Lukaku, Martinez’s side still have quality players up front, like Kevin De Bruyne and Leandro Trossard.
“We have no more hope, we are now sure,” said the 30-year-old who made regular appearances for Canada’s national team under coach John Herdman during their campaign qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.
“We are very confident. We want to show that we are a footballing nation, that we can compete with the best teams in the world.”
“We wanted to surprise, because I think people always see us as the underdogs. Canada and the World Cup, they should be happy to be here. But that’s not our mentality. We’re here to compete in the highest level,” he said. .
“We believe in our team, that with the quality and brotherhood we have, we can go as far as we want.”
Herdman echoed the sentiments of his players and coach, who were instrumental in their success at the top of the CONCACAF qualifying standings.
“I think internally Canada is starting to expect something from us.” he said. “If you go to France, Germany, Italy, England, Brazil, Argentina, they will ask you: ‘Who is Canada?’ But I think internally, as a country, we’re starting to believe that anything is possible and it’s the same mentality, one game at a time.”
After facing Belgian national team In the first game of the 2022 World Cup, Canada will face Croatia on Sunday November 27, 2022, then Morocco on Thursday December 1, 2022.
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