Free-scoring Belgium targets 16 goals to get free TVs


MOSCOW (Reuters) – Belgium scored nine goals in their three World Cup group games, more than any other country, and forward Dries Mertens said on Saturday he was motivated by more than just winning the trophy.

Soccer Football – World Cup – Group G – Belgium vs Panama – Fisht Stadium, Sochi, Russia – June 18, 2018 Belgium’s Dries Mertens celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Mertens, scorer of an outrageous volley against Panama that opened Belgium’s account in Russia, joked that friends back home were counting on him to help the team hit a target of 16 goals to make good on a retailer’s special World Cup promotion.

Asked by reporters at their training camp near Moscow about Belgium’s free-scoring run, the Napoli player noted that a Belgian electrical chain was offering to reimburse people who bought a TV for the World Cup — if the team score more than 15.

“My friends bought the television. So I’m thinking about that. So I want to score a lot of goals to give a free television to my friends,” he declared ahead of Belgium’s last 16 clash with Japan on Monday.

Reporting by Alastair Macdonald; Editing by Ken Ferris

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