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George Leekens

star players:
Enzo Scifo
Luc Nilis
Franky van der Elst
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Sunday, May 3, 1998 Published at 17:49 GMT 18:49 UK

Teams | Belgium | Players
The Belgian Squad

Coach Georges Leekens has spent the last year rebuilding the national squad, working through 43 players in the qualifying matches.

Goalkeeper Filip De Wilde is the only one to have played in every match as Leekens has brought in a mix of young newcomers and previous World Cup veterans.

Club Bruges' 36-year old midfielder Franky Van der Elst and 32-year-old Enzo Scifo of Anderlecht are set to play their fourth finals. Van der Elst was persuaded to come out of retirement earlier in the campaign and Scifo made himself available for selection after refusing to play for Leekens having been left out of the squad for a World Cup warm-up match against the United States.

They are likely to be joined by veteran striker Luc Nilis of PSV Eindhoven, who returned to favour among the Belgian public after some superb performances in the play-offs.

But Van der Elst's Club Bruges colleagues, goalkeeper Dany Verlinden, defender Eric Deflandre and midfielder Gert Claessens will need to fight for their places after they were dropped following the draw with Norway in March.

Fiorentina's Luis Oliveira was the national team's leading scorer in the qualifying campaign and should retain his place for France.

Genk defender Davy Oyen earned his first call-up for the friendly against Romania in April, although he may find it difficult to break into the final squad ahead of Napoli defender Bertrand Crasson.

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In this section:

Franky van der Elst

George Leekens - Belgian Manager

The Belgian Squad