Belgium are another nation currently going through a ‘golden generation’.
With some exceptional young talent in large numbers, their current squad includes Christian Benteke,Thomas Vermaelen, Vincent Kompany, Moussa Dembele and Marouane Fellaini amongst other fantastic players.
Time will tell whether or not this set of players can be successful on the international stage, but there have been many before who have tried and conquered, or unfortunately underachieved.
Let’s look at the sets of pronounced golden generations and rate their success.
England’s golden generation is arguably the biggest failure on this list.
Despite being technically graced and individually fantastic, they never really clicked together and never progressed on the international stage, which was epitomised in their failing to qualify for the 2008 European Championships.
Their talented line-up included, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney.
Although all those players achieved greatness at their respective clubs, they were always a liability at international level. Frustrating fans and the country as a whole, England didn’t reach one semi-final during their golden generation of world-class players.
The greatest golden generation ever?
It is hugely possible, with their ‘tiki-taka’ style football earning them three successive major international trophies; Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.
Iker Casillas, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Cesc Fabregas, Xabi Alonso, David Silva, Sergio Busquets, Santi Cazorla, Jesus Navas, Pedro, Fernando Torres and David Villa are all dictated by the brilliance and inspiring football of Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
They continue to play at the highest level and will likely be on-song at next year’s World Cup, as they look to claim a remarkable fourth successive major tournament victory. They also have a new generation of players coming through which include the talented Isco, Thiago Alcantara and Iker Muniain.
Africa’s golden generation have been a major disappointment. They didn’t win the African Cup of Nations, and with Didier Drogba’s international retirement, many feel the golden generation have now left the game.
A hugely talented and physical team included; Boubacar Barry, Kolo and Yaya Toure, Emmaniel Eboue, Didier Zokora, Cheick Tiote, Arouna Kone, Salamon Kalou, Gervinho, Kader Keita and Didier Drogba.
Despite qualifying for two successive World Cups, the African team will be considered a failure due to their inability to claim the African Cup of Nations. They found themselves in the final twice, in 2006 and 2012, but lost out both times on penalties to Egypt and Zambia respectively.
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