Atletico Madrid duo Thibaut Courtois and Toby Alderweireld have been named in Belgium’s provisional World Cup squad.
The pair are the only La Liga representatives in a star-studded 24-man squad that many expect to be dark horses this summer.
Marc Wilmots’ roster will be reduced to 23 and must be submitted to FIFA by June 2.
Courtois has missed just one game in Atletico’s successful La Liga campaign and despite having earned just 15 caps; he was an ever-present for the Belgians during their unbeaten qualifying campaign – keeping six clean sheets along the way.
The 22-year-old has enjoyed three trophy-filled years at Atletico since joining on loan from Chelsea in 2011 - winning the Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and Copa del Rey – and could yet add La Liga and the UEFA Champions League by the end of the month to complete his collection.
His only real downfall is the negative effect he has caused within the Belgian team in the past.
Allegations into his private life caused a stir in the camp when they were revealed last year, while he made comments about fellow goalkeeper Simon Mignolet regarding his chances of becoming his country’s number one keeper.
However, coach Wilmots seems to have it all under control.
Alderweireld joined Diego Simeone’s side from Ajax last August and has featured 21 times in all competitions this season.
He is expected to provide cover for the likes of Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen and Jan Vertonghen, while he can also play at right-back.
This is widely thought to be the “golden generation” for Belgium with a flurry of big names in their squad including Eden Hazard, Kevin Mirallas and Romelu Lukaku.
They are expected to fly through a slightly easier-looking group with Russia, South Korea and Algeria providing the opposition in their first finals for 12 years.
Group H is the last to get underway and they start their tournament against the Algerians on June 17, before facing the Russians five days later.
South Korea await in the final group game on June 26, before a potentially tough second round encounter follows.
They faced Brazil in the second round back in 2002 and the likes of Germany, Portugal, Ghana or the USA will be the Belgian’s next challenge should they progress.
The last time Wilmot’s men went past the last 16 was all the way back in 1986, when they beat the Soviet Union before beating Spain on penalties in the quarter-finals. A Diego Maradona-inspired Argentina prevented them from reaching a first-ever final.
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