Belgium are about to embark on a golden era of international football.
With a whole host of world-class players beginning to excel across Europe in their respected divisions, people should sit up and take notice of the Belgium national team. The squad is blessed with fantastic players in every department. A promising young keeper shoring up an already formidable defence, a strong and stylish midfield with clinical attackers who bring power, pace and added flair up top. Belgian players are taking Europe by storm and the Premier League is currently home to a host of Belgian internationals.
Boasting one of the best defences in world football, they have a solid back line. Thibaut Courtois, currently plying his trade in Spain with Atletico Madrid whilst on loan from Chelsea, is hotly-tipped as the next best keeper, and stellar performances have just enhanced the 20-year-old's credentials. With Simon Mignolet also in fine form, there is healthy competition for the number one spot.
Belgium also have three of the best Premier League defensive players in the shape of captain Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen and Jan Vertonghen. The leadership qualities of the Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham trio combined will undoubtedly steer the team towards success. These defenders are comfortable in possession and all able to add goals to the cause, emphasising the technical ability these Belgian players possess. Throw in Toby Alderweild, who has been linked with a January switch to the Premier League, and it's clear to see that Belgium boast some of the best defenders in the modern game that even the most prolific strikers would struggle to break down.
The midfield talent is comparable to that of the current world champions, Spain. Everton's Marouane Fellaini, Zenit St. Petersburg's Axel Witsel and Spurs ace Moussa Dembele all feature in the heart of their midfield, adding strength and power combined with the vision and ability to match.
Arguably the most gifted of all the Belgian boys are Chelsea duo Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne, with the latter currently on loan at Bundesliga outfit Werder Breman. De Bruyne is known for his ability to drift past defenders at ease, and at the tender age of just 21, he is sure to develop into a more complete player.
Hazard became the most wanted player in Europe during the protracted transfer negotiations that eventually saw him sign on at Stamford Bridge. He has shown his quality, skills and has drawn numerous comparisons to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo during his short spell in England. Like De Bruyne, he is only 21-years-old and looks to have the world at his feet as he continues to develop.
With options out wide in the form of Dries Mertens and Nacer Chadli, Belgium have a number of options at their disposal, which is vital when challenging at an international tournament.
Up front, Christian Benteke, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas have been in phenomenal form in their first seasons in the Premier League and have displayed eye-catching performances capped with vital goals. Benteke and Lukaku are very similar in stature and age, with raw talent and natural strength, whilst still maintaining high levels of playing ability.
Mirallas offers more in terms of mobility, which would compliment playing with either of the big men. With Jelle Vossen, who plays his football at Genk, a regular feature in the national set-up, there is no shortage of firepower.
Belgium are highly rated and will be hotly-tipped to win their first World Cup at Brazil 2014. Fans and pundits alike fully expect Belgium to continue to improve over the coming years and they will soon be able to mix it with the big boys.
The question is, can they on to become a global football powerhouse like the current Spain squad have done to unprecedented levels of success? Only time will tell, but the future looks extremely bright for Belgian football.
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