Twenty-five players, of which four goalkeepers, participated in the general training Thursday at the Belgian Football Center in Tubize. Vincent Kompany was back in the Red Devils’ group. Marouane Fellaini, Thomas Vermaelen and Axel Witsel remained inside. Antwerp’s goalie, Jens Teunckens, has replaced Simon Mignolet on the pecking order, who has not yet joined the group.
Wednesday, Kompany, Fellaini, Vermaelen and Witsel had practiced individually inside. Thursday, Vincent Kompany has come back to the group, as opposed to the other three, who remained inside to train.
Thomas Vermaelen is getting over a thigh injury. Axel Witsel suffered a knee injury during the Asian Champions League. The reasons for Fellaini’s absence have not yet been revealed.
Simon Mignolet still has to return to the group after the Champions League final loss by Liverpool to Real Madrid. Thursday, he was replaced by Teunckens in order to allow a training session with four goalies. Teunckens had already trained Monday with the Red Devils, who began Monday the second phase of their preparation for the World Cup.
Belgium will play Portugal Saturday for a friendly. Two days later, on June 4, Roberto Martinez will have to send his final list of 23 players to FIFA. The Red Devils will still play Egypt (June 6) and Costa Rica (June 11) before taking off for Russia.
Belgium will kick off the World Cup on June 18 against Panama, and will then play against Tunisia (June 23) and England (June 28).