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FIVE Belgium players 'booked earlier flights' to fly home separately from teammates

FIVE Belgium players 'booked earlier flights' to fly home separately from teammates

Belgium crashed out of the World Cup at the group stage and there have been reports of bust-ups within the squad.

Five Belgium players are said to have booked earlier flights home from the World Cup amid reports of unrest amongst the squad.

The Red Devils crashed out of the World Cup at the group stage after drawing 0-0 with Croatia in their final Group F fixture on Thursday.

Substitute Romelu Lukaku missed four huge chances and had to be consoled by assistant manager Thierry Henry.

Morocco, who beat Belgium a few days earlier, topped the group, with Croatia finishing a point above Roberto Martinez's side in second.

Even in their opening win over Canada, Belgium were sluggish and soon details emerged of bust-ups in the camp following on from the Morocco loss.

Het Laatste Nieuws are now reporting that a number of Belgium players decided against travelling home with the team and arranged their own flights.

Thomas Meunier, Axel Witsel, Jeremy Doku, Arthur Theate and Lois Openda paid for their own travel from Qatar and reportedly landed in Brussels before their teammates.

Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne appeared to clash with Toby Alderweireld during the Canada win, later revealing the dispute was over the team's style of play.

He was apparently involved in a disagreement with Jan Vertonghen and Eden Hazard post-Morocco, with Lukaku diffusing the situation.

De Bruyne's comments over the Belgium squad being "too old" to go all the way in an interview with The Guardian reportedly didn't go down well with his colleagues, with Hazard admitting "words had been spoken".

Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

Vertonghen appeared to mention De Bruyne's quote after the Morocco loss when he told the mixed zone, "We probably also attack badly because we are too old, that must be it now, surely?"

Belgium are currently ranked second in the world rankings and finished in third place in the 2018 World Cup.

But having fielded a side with an average age of 31 years and 95 days against Croatia - the oldest in a World Cup game since 2010 - their 'Golden Generation' era would appear to be over.

Immediately after their exit from the tournament Roberto Martinez announced he was stepping down after six years.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Belgium, Football World Cup, Kevin De Bruyne, Roberto Martinez, Romelu Lukaku