In March’s international friendlies, the Belgian national team will be without Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard. Roberto Martinez has stated that he will only choose players with up to 50 international caps.
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez announced in an interview with ‘Het Nieuwsblad’ that Lukaku and Hazard will not play in the upcoming international friendlies in March. Belgium will play Ireland and Burkina Faso.
“No, I won’t make any exception. I wouldn’t want to. We have the idea of only calling up players who have up to 50 international caps”, explained Martinez.
The players and their individual clubs may be pleased with the situation. However, in the case of Lukaka and Hazard, it is evident that they are going through a hard phase individually. The most notable example is the Real Madrid player.
Playing for Belgium would be a rewarding experience and an opportunity to gain game time. Both players have been severely lacking in this area in recent months. In fact, Hazard has not appeared in any of Real Madrid’s last four games.
“Of course not playing in matches is worrying because it’s new for Hazard and he’s never been in a situation like this. It could be difficult for him”, said Martinez recently.
Hazard is now suffering from an ankle injury, which may prevent him from playing in the next ‘El Clasico’ against Barcelona on Sunday. He’s in a pickle that he doesn’t seem to be able to get out of.
Roberto Martinez on the world cup
Roberto Martinez believes the event will be placed during the season rather than at the end of a season, the players who will participate will be fresher and at peak physical levels.
“I think this could be the best World Cup or international event we’ve ever seen because the physical quality of the players will be at an all-time high,” Martinez told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“With the season only a few weeks old, everyone will be within 1,000 playing minutes – this is the ideal time for players to go and play for their national side,” he continued.
Belgium have a strong team that features the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Youri Tielemans. They are one of the contenders for the crown.
Martinez will be hoping a fresh set of players is exactly what they need to finally win an international trophy.