The Afro-Belgian World Cup squad

 

Belgium is one of the European countries at the 2018 World Cup in Russia that assembled squads composed of players of African origin.
ELLY KYEYUNE looks at the profiles of some the Belgian national team players and their African roots.

Anga Dedryck Boyata
Dedryck Boyata

His father Bienvenu Mandungu Boyata is a former Congolese footballer, who played during the 1990s in Belgium for Union Saint-Gilloise and Stade Lauven.

Romelu Menama Lukaku Bolingoli
Romelu Lukaku

Lukaku was born in Antwerp a city in northern Belgium, to Congolese parents. His father, Roger Lukaku played professional football and was capped at international level by Zaire (present day Democratic Republic of Congo).

Moussa Sidi Yaya Dembéle
Mousa Dembele Belgium

Dembélé was born in Wilrijkj, Antwerp, Belgium. His father Yaya is Malian, while his mother, Tilly Huygens, is Belgian of Flemish ethnicity

Nacer Chadli
Nacer Chadli

A dual citizen of Belgium and Morocco, Chadli was thus able to represent either nation. He made his debut for Morocco side on 17 November 2010, in a 1–1 friendly draw against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park and was named man of the match. On 28 January 2011, however, he announced his intention to represent Belgium at the international level, which was permitted because he had not yet played in a competitive match for Morocco.

Marouane Fellaini-Bakkioui
Marouane Fellaini Bakkioui

Fellaini was born to Moroccan parents from Tangier and brought up in Brussels; he has an identical twin named Mansour Fellaini.
His father, Abdellatif, was a former goalkeeper for Raja Casablanca

Michy Batshuayi-Atunga
Michy Batshuayi Atunga

Batshuayi was eligible to play for the DR Congo national team through his parents, but in March 2015 he ruled out this option, stating that although his Congolese heritage is important to him, he would rather represent Belgium.

Youri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans

Tielemans’ father is of Flemish and his mother is of Congolese descent.
He plays as a midfielder for Ligue 1 club AS Monaco.

Vincent Jean Mpoy Kompany
Vincent Jean Mpoy Kompany

Kompany’s father, Pierre, is a Congolese immigrant to Belgium and serves as his agent. His mother, Jocelyne, is Belgian.