Belgium World Cup squad: Radja Nainggolan left out of initial 28-man squad for Russia 2018

Roberto Martinez has chosen to leave Roma's Nainggolan behind with 15 Premier League players included

Russia 2018: A look at England's World Cup opponents

Belgium have announced their World Cup squad.

Boss Roberto Martinez named 15 Premier League players in an initial squad of 28 with Chelsea's Eden Hazard set to captain the side in Russia this summer.

He's joined by Blues teammates Thibaut Courtois and Michy Batshuayi, who makes it despite a late season injury scare while on loan at Borussia Dortmund, and Manchester City title winners Kevin de Bruyne and Vincent Kompany.

Tottenham trio Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele are in but there's no place for Roma's Radja Nainggolan in a significant surprise.

"Radja is a top player," Martinez told a news conference, acknowledging Nainggolan's key role in Roma's run to the Champions League semi-finals, but saying he could not offer him a similar place in a Belgian side he described as more offensive.

Coach and player had an "honest" discussion after Martinez flew to Rome on Sunday to break the news.

"I don't think Radja is a player to be used in a small role," Martinez said when asked about Nainggolan's reported willingness to go with the squad to Russia "even as a goalkeeper". "The reason that Radja's not in the squad is purely a tactical decision," he added.

Within hours of the news being announced Nainggolan immediately took to Instagram to confirm that he would no longer be available for selection following Martinez's decision.

"Very reluctantly my international career comes to an end...I've always done everything I could to represent my country. Being yourself can be bothering... from this day on I will be the first fan," he posted.

Nainggolan's omission is a shock after a fine season in Serie A and in Europe. A buccaneering, all-action midfielder the 30-year-old has been linked with a move to the Premier League on a number of occasions with Antonio Conte attempting to bring him to Chelsea in his first summer in charge at Stamford Bridge in 2016.

He isn't the only big name to miss out on selection this summer, however. Chelsea's Alvaro Morata, Cesc Fabregas and Marcos Alonso have all missed out on a place in Spain's squad while Gareth Southgate chose to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and out of his 23-man England team.

Nainggolan misses out on Russia despite a fine season for Roma

The Red Devils open their tournament against Panama on June 18 before they face Tunisia five days later. They play England in the final game of Group G on June 28.

Full squad

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois, Simon Mignolet, Matz Sels, Koen Casteels

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld, Dedryck Boyata, Leander Dendoncker, Laurent Ciman, Christian Kabasele, Vincent Kompany, Jordan Lukaku, Thomas Meunier, Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen

Midfielders: Yannick Carrasco, Kevin De Bruyne, Nacer Chadli, Mousa Dembele, Marouane Fellaini, Eden Hazard, Thorgan Hazard, Adnan Januzaj, Dries Mertens, Youri Tielemans, Axel Witsel

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi, Christian Benteke, Romelu Lukaku

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