For Steven Defour, taking part in the 2018 World Cup was a goal, and, at one point, a realistic one.
However, having been sidelined since the end of January, the 29-year-old won’t feature in the upcoming friendlies for Belgium, and the Burnley star has pretty much resigned himself to the fact he won’t be going to Russia.
Speaking to Eleven Sports in his home country, the Clarets’ midfielder said: “If I’m really optimistic, I’d say about 5% maximum. That’s how it is. There’s nothing I can do about it”.
While he’s obviously disappointed, with the likes of Radja Nainggolan and Mousa Dembélé all ahead of him, the 52 times capped Belgium international can take some solace in the fact he has already played in a World Cup, in 2014, even if he only played 45 minutes.
He continued: “The World Cup is always special, especially with this generation, but I want to play football for as long as possible so I can’t take too many risks”.
As for how far he reckons his compatriots can go in Russia, he reckons the semi-finals is where their journey will end.
Prior to his injury, Defour had made 24 appearances in all competitions for Burnley, scoring one goal and picking up an assist.