CELTIC central defender Dedryck Boyata is planning to gatecrash Belgium’s World Cup Finals squad bound for Russia this summer.

Roberto Martinez has brought the 27-year-old centre-half into his plans for the friendly against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Boyata said: “I’m happy to be selected just months from the World Cup. Obviously, I will give of my best in the coming days.

“It will be a very important meeting, during which the team will be able to refine certain things and I hope to be able to benefit from playing time.

“I spoke a lot with the coach about this meeting, he highlighted some positive points and some things to improve.

“I hope to be in the list of 23 for Russia, but the final decision obviously goes to the coach.”

Boyata missed Euro 2016 due to a hamstring injury and he failed to make an impact until the turn of last year when Rodgers reintroduced him to the first team.

The former Manchester City star added: “It was a very hard moment in my career that I prefer not to think about anymore.

“I try to turn this disappointment into something positive, which motivates me to work harder to reach my goal.

“To go to the World Cup Finals would be a dream.”

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About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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