Football

Belgium XI: The team to take Euro 2016 by storm

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Belgium are cruising towards World Cup qualification. (©GettyImages)
Belgium are cruising towards World Cup qualification. (©GettyImages).

It’s an exciting time to be a Belgian football fan, with a wealth of young talent emerging from the nation; they are already being touted as the team to dethrone Spain as Europe’s dominant force in international football. 

This plethora of youngsters mixed with experience means that this future XI is a truly frightening prospect on paper. 

With an explosion of new Belgian talent hitting the Premier League this season with remarkable results, surely it’s only a matter of time before this reflects on the international scene.

Goalkepper | Thibaut Courtois

The on-loan Chelsea goalkeeper has earned rave reviews during his time at Atletico Madrid, being pivotal in their recent re-emergence in Spain’s Top three. 

In 62 La Liga games he has racked up an impressive 29 clean sheets, setting a club record of going 820 minutes without conceding in the process. He has stated his desire to stay at Atletico for a third successive season, but reports suggest several Premier League clubs have informed Chelsea of their interest in loaning  

English fans may get a chance to see what all the hype is about come next season. At the tender age of 20, the only way is up for Courtois. 

A notable mention has to be given to Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet and it’s certain that these two will be grappling for Belgium’s No1 jersey for the foreseeable future

Centre back | Vincent Kompany

Manchester City’s enforcer, who currently holds the armband for both club and country, is widely regarded as one of the best centre backs in the world. 

His reading of the game and no nonsense play mean he’s always one step ahead of most attackers and his old fashioned style could be key to a steady ship at the back for Belgium. His outstanding leadership qualities make him the ideal candidate to organise his young recruits form the back

Centre back | Thomas Vermaelen

Arsenal’s injury prone defender certainly has had a stop-start career at the Gunners, but his form and consistent appearance rate over the past two seasons has improved, leading to many fans at the Emirates seeing the Belgian as Arsenal’s only talent in a famously leaky backline. 

His precise passing and killer left foot mean that he is a danger to the opposition’s goal as well, though with young talent such as Dereck Boyata and Guillaume Gillet, who made his international debut last year at the ripe age of 16.

Centre back | Jan Vertonghen

He arrived at White Hart Lane in the summer after a tug of war involving several English teams and has instantly embedded himself into team, becoming a fans favourite. 

He has been key to Tottenham’s impressive form under new manager Andre Villas-Boas,  and his solid performances doubled with an impressive three goals in four games from centre back recently earned him the March Player of the Month accolade. 

With his goal scoring threat and willingness to get forward to attack, he could become a potent threat to any opposition.

Right midfield | Kevin Mirallas

Everton’s tricky winger has certainly made an impression on Merseyside, his dizzying feet and mazy dribbles combined with some Brazilian like skills mean that he causes problems for any defence. 

His blistering pace means he has the ability to leave most defenders in his wake and whip some crosses into the box. He has a real crowd-pleasing style to his play and his easy on the eye tricks leave Toffee’s purring.

Centre midfield | Marouane Fellaini

A teammate to Mirallas, his performances this season have made people stand up and take notice of something other than his wacky barnet. 

At the beginning of the season he was tearing up defences and scoring goals for fun although he has gone off the boil since the turn of the New Year this is still by far his most impressive season to date. 

Always a handful for defenders and lethal in the air, Fellaini certainly adds that physical presence to midfield that Belgium need to be successful

Centre midfield | Axel Witsel

After impressing many with his standout performances for Benfica in Portugal, Witsel earned himself a move to Russian moneybags Zenit. 

Having been one of the most sought after prospects in world football, it seemed an odd career move, but in the Russian league he has really developed into an all-round midfielder who can pass dribble and tackle. 

I would love to see this lanky passer in the Premier league one day, where the physical style of play would almost certainly transform him into the complete midfielder. Although it has to be said that he needs to stop visiting Fellaini’s barber.

Left midfield | Eden Hazard

Hazard had every major club in world football scrambling for his signature last summer, before he plumped for newly crowned European Champions Chelsea.  

His performances this season certainly haven’t disappointed and he is undoubtedly one of the biggest talents in world football today and pivotal to Belgium’s quest for silverware. If he manages to replicate some of his best form for the national side, then he could win matches almost single-handedly.

Attacking midfield | Moussa Dembele

Since exploding onto the British scene last season, Moussa Dembele has established himself as a leading Premier League attacking midfielder.  

His blend of power and pace along with his amazing dribbling ability has led to many singing his praises.

Although not a regular scorer himself, Dembele is the master of finding a defence splitting pass to set up his strikers, which is surely what his job would before the national side.

Striker | Kevin De Bruyne

De Bruyne is another Chelsea-owned talent who is currently learning his trade in the Bundesliga at Werder Bremen. De Bruyne enjoys using tricks and skills to get past a man before unleashing a thunderbolt from his fierce right foot. 

Very confident on the ball, his ability to glide past defenders and also strike a ball as cleanly as anyone are two key attributes to the young Belgian’s game. 

Seen as a potential Premier League star of the future, De Bruyne certainly seems poised to be thrust into the Chelsea first team come next season.

Striker | Romelu Lukaku

Chelsea seem to be very lucky when it comes to owning young Belgian talent, but some see Lukaku as the pick of the bunch. Very much in the Didier Drogba mould, this left footed machine runs through defenders like they’re made of paper. 

Currently on loan at West Brom, his consistent goal scoring and aerial prowess have led to him becoming a feared Premier League centre forward. He isn’t too shabby with his feet either. Very much seen as the next big striking sensation in world football, he will only go on to bigger and better things.

A special mention has to go out to Aston Villa's Christian Benteke, whos outstanding debut season in the Premier League could well lead to him stealing a place up top for this Belgium side.


DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeFootball Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeFootball.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeFootball.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Didier Drogba
Football
Thomas Vermaelen
Chelsea
Romelu Lukaku
Vincent Kompany
Marouane Fellaini
Everton
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