Mignolet plays down Belgium’s World Cup hopes

The Liverpool keeper says his country are looking no further than qualifying for the second round of this summer’s tournament, despite being tipped as potential winners

Belgium goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has played down his side’s chances of winning the World Cup, claiming his team-mates are focused purely on advancing from Group H.

Marc Wilmot’s men have been drawn alongside Russia, South Korea and Algeria and have been tipped as potential winners of the competition following the emergence of a star-studded squad.

The likes of captain Vincent Kompany and forwards Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku form the spine of the side, but Mignolet, who is set to be understudy to Thibaut Courtois, told FIFA.com he is remaining cautious.

“The first objective was to qualify,” the 26-year-old, who has earned 15 international caps since making his debut against Austria in 2011, told reporters.

“It’s been a long time since that happened and we’re delighted to be making the trip to Brazil.

“Our next goal is to make the second round. After that, we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Mignolet, who narrowly missed out on the Premier League title with Liverpool this season, added: “On a personal note, it’s a childhood dream come true to be taking part in an event like this.”

Belgium continue preparations for the World Cup with friendlies against Sweden and Tunisia before facing Algeria in their opening group game on June 17.

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