With World Cup qualifying games against Gibraltar and Greece coming up, Roberto Martinez had to make his choices regarding the squad he wants to have at this disposal for those two encounters, and some of those choices left others surprised, and others… ‘about to explode’.
I’m a bit surprised by this decision. I was a coach of the national team with Italy but I respect the decision of the other coach. Then again, if Hazard is fit, then he can play for Belgium. But if he is ready, why does he not play with us?
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte told reporters ahead of their game against Everton, having just heard the news about Eden Hazard’s inclusion in the list of players who Martinez wants available for Belgium’s next two games.
Eden is our captain and needs to be in our selection. He is in a good moment, he is coming back from injury with really good signs. The information we have was good enough to call him up
Martinez himself told reporters, explaining his decision.
If Conte was left ‘surprised’, Radja Nainggolan was left infuriated, hearing that he wasn’t in the list.
He called me one hour before the squad announcement and said he had the impression I was not focused enough on playing for the Red Devils during the World Cup matches in June. I was about to explode when I heard that
the Roma midfielder told Het Nieuwsblad, before announcing his retirement from international football(!).
I am going to stop international football now. It makes no sense. He calls Youri Tielemans who is sitting on the bench and playing only a few minutes at Monaco. I quit. I am 29 years old and they won’t let me go any further than this. I’m sorry, but that’s just how it is. I’m being pushed into this situation, so fine, now everything I do is for Roma
Nainggolan said, maybe in the heat of the moment.