Belgium Euro 2024 squad review: Courtois omission a controversial move

Belgium pipped Austria to the top spot in Group F of qualifying for Euro 2024 by a single point and didn't lose any of their eight matches.

While their ‘Golden Generation' tag might have come and gone, some of those top-quality players remain, and Belgium are certainly in with a chance of going all the way in Germany. Domenico Tedesco's side face Slovakia,

Romania and Ukraine in Group E so should be qualifying for the knockout stage with relative ease.

Belgium Euro 2024 squad – Key facts

Belgium have never won a major international tournament but they have come very close, finishing runners-up in the 1980 European Championship and claiming third-place at the 2018 World Cup. Jan Vertonghen, who is in the latest squad, is the record cap holder with 154 appearances for Belgium while Romelu Lukaku top scores for his country with an amazing 83 goals in 114 caps.

First professional fixture: 1904

Nickname: The Red Devils

Current FIFA ranking: 3rd (4th April 2024)

Highest FIFA ranking: 1st (November – March 2016, September 2018 – March 2022)

Year of Euro debut: 1972

Best Euro performance: Runners-up (1980)

Player to watch: Kevin De Bruyne

Full Belgium Euro 2024 squad

Domenico Tedesco announced his provisional squad for Euro 2024 but decided to only use 25 of the 26 available places. However, the biggest surprise was the apparent snub of Real Madrid Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who has played in three of the Spanish club's last four matches and is set to start in the Champions League final.

Belgium players celebrating a goal against England
The Belgium players celebrate their side’s 1st goal during the friendly match at Wembley Stadium – Photo by Icon Sport

Goalkeeper

  • Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg)
  • Matz Sels (Nottingham Forest)
  • Thomas Kaminski (Luton Town)

Defence

  • Jan Vertonghen (Anderlecht)
  • Thomas Meunier (Trabzonspor)
  • Timothy Castagne (Fulham)
  • Arthur Theate (Rennes)
  • Wout Faes (Leicester City)
  • Zeno Debast (Anderlecht)
  • Maxim De Cuyper (Club Brugge)

Midfield

  • Axel Witsel (Atlético Madrid)
  • Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
  • Youri Tielemans (Aston Villa)
  • Charles De Ketelaere (Atalanta)
  • Orel Mangala (Lyon)
  • Amadou Onana (Everton)
  • Aster Vranckx (Wolfsburg)
  • Arthur Vermeeren (Atlético Madrid)

Attack

  • Romelu Lukaku (Roma)
  • Yannick Carrasco (Al-Shabab)
  • Leandro Trossard (Arsenal)
  • Jérémy Doku (Manchester City)
  • Loïs Openda (RB Leipzig)
  • Dodi Lukebakio (Sevilla)
  • Johan Bakayoko (PSV Eindhoven)
Romelu Lukaku in action for the Red Devils
Belgium's Romelu Lukaku (left) and England's Kieran Trippier battle for the ball during – Photo by Icon Sport

Surprise inclusions in the Belgium Euro 2024 squad

Thomas Kaminski (Luton Town)

Thomas Kaminski is a surprise inclusion in the Belgium squad, especially when you consider that the 31-year-old with one cap to his name has been included ahead of Courtois, who played in the  Champions League final and added another UCL winners' medal on top of 2023/24's La Liga title.

Club form clearly isn't a huge issue for Domenico Tedesco, since Kaminski contrastingly finished third from bottom with Luton and got relegated from the Premier League. Luton also conceded 85 goals in the process – though he remains a player that shouldn't be short of suitors this summer.

Maxim De Cuyper (Club Brugge)

Club Brugge full-back Maxim De Cuyper is in the provisional squad for Euro 2024, despite the fact that he has never played a single game for his country before. The 23-year-old helped his club claim the First Division A title this season, playing 37 times and scoring three goals.

Georgia vs Belgium U21
Maxim De Cuyper celebrates after scoring during the second goal of the game against Georgia U21- Photo by Icon Sport

In-form players for Belgium

Leandro Trossard (Arsenal)

Leandro Trossard finished the Premier League season in fine form for the Gunners with four goals in the club's last six league games, though it wasn't enough for the club to win the title. That late surge took his total league goal haul for 2023/24 to a round dozen.

As a vital part of Mikel Arteta's side in the prime of his career, it will be interesting to see how the 29-year-old performs for Belgium in Euro 2024. Trossard has scored two goals in his last five appearances for his country, and played the first hour of Belgium's 2-2 draw with England in March.

Jérémy Doku (Manchester City)

Doku's first season in English football proved to be a very productive one, with the young winger featuring in 43 games for Manchester City across all competitions. The former Rennes man scored three times and provided eight assists in 29 Premier League appearances, 18 of which were starts.

With his pace and trickery on the right wing and an ability to cut in and either shoot or provide a cross, Doku is certainly going to be one of the players to watch in the Belgian side this summer.

Ireland vs Beldium
Seamus Coleman of Ireland challenges for the ball with Jeremy Doku of Belgium – Photo by Icon Sport

Belgium Predicted Euro 2024 XI

Belgium vs Slovakia

(4-3-3) Casteels, Vertonghen, Castagne, Theate, Debast, Tielemans, Onana, De Bruyne, Lukaku, Trossard, Doku

Domenico Tedesco favours a 4-3-3 formation, with Romelu Lukaku leading the line while being supported by Leandro Trossard and Jérémy Doku. Belgian captain Kevin De Bruyne hasn't played in any of his country's recent internationals, but we expect the Manchester City star to start in place of Nottingham Forest's Orel Mangala in Belgium's opening game against Slovakia.

Belgium vs Romania

(4-3-3) Casteels, Vertonghen, Castagne, Theate, Debast, Tielemans, Onana, De Bruyne, Lukaku, Trossard, Doku

Tedesco should stick with the same formation and personnel against Romania, where Belgium will again be favourites to win. The manager has already confirmed that Wolfsburg's Koen Casteels will be his number one in the absence of Thibaut Courtois.

Belgium vs Ukraine

(4-3-3) Casteels, Vertonghen, Castagne, Theate, Debast, Tielemans, Onana, De Bruyne, Lukaku, Trossard, Doku

Arguably Belgium's toughest opponents on paper in this group are Ukraine, and so Tedesco may want to stick with his strongest XI. However, if Belgium already have the group wrapped up by then, they could rotate in their final group match, with Mangala and RB Leipzig striker Loïs Openda solid options.


A lifelong Evertonian, James started writing for an Everton fan site in the mid-2000s and then developed his own blog covering football transfers from across Europe's big leagues before becoming a regular match preview and betting tips writer for Biggest Free Bets. James moved to Free Super Tips next, and then Racing Post, where he worked as a full-time betting tips writer for a few years. Following that, James joined Football Whispers in December 2020 and has been a permanent fixture ever-since, currently covering the Premier League amongst other things