Belgium World Cup squad revealed after mattress mix-up

Martinez responds to mattressgate saying 23-man party yet to be decided

There are many perks to representing your country at the World Cup.

There’s the chance to make history, the fame, the glitz, the glamour and the prestige - and, of course, you also get your own personalised mattress.

At least you do if you're lucky enough to represent Belgium.

Indeed, the Red Devils’ World Cup squad appears to have been leaked early - allowing the 23 players heading to Russia this summer to sleep easy in more ways than one.


Manager Roberto Martinez wasn't due to announce his finalised squad until Monday, following Saturday's friendly against European champions Portugal.

However Martinez’s mind - and bed - looks to be made up, after Belgian broadcasters VRT seemed to inadvertently reveal his chosen party in bizarre circumstances.

While reporting on the national side’s World Cup preparations, VRT showed footage of 23 mattresses being loaded up before being sent to Russia - each one of them individually named.

And if the mattresses are to be believed, it is Newcastle goalkeeper Mats Selz, defenders Christian Kabasele and Jordan Lukaku, Anderlecht midfielder Leander Dendoncker and former Manchester United forward Adnan Januzaj who have missed the final cut.

When asked about mattressgate on Friday, Martinez said: “This is not a job for private detectives. With a simple phone call to our press officer, it would immediately be clear that there is no definitive list yet.

“The story should have stopped there. There is nothing to explain, because there is no truth to the story. There is no list of 23 players that has already being sent.

“The following days will be crucial, to get the medical information and see how we play against Portugal.”

However the quintet are likely to have memory-foam on their mind on Saturday evening - knowing World Cup dreams could hinge on a Queen-sized performance at the King Badouin Stadium.

Patrick Madden

Patrick Madden

Patrick Madden is a former sports journalist with The Irish Times