Belgium are improving rapidly to be recognised as an European football giant as they stand in the sixth position in FIFA World Ranking.
Belgium were ranked 53 in FIFA World Ranking in July 12. They have since climbed up to sixth place within just thirteen months. And this is not just all in a sudden without any reason.
Fourth place is Belgium's highest success in World Cup finals. They were semi-finalists in 1986 World Cup and eventually beaten by Diego Maradona's Argentina. They were a regular team in World Cup finals from 1982 to 2002. After 2002 things went wrong for Belgium and they could not qualify in 2006 and the 2010 World Cup.
Situation started improving after the appointment of Marc Wilmots as national team coach. Wilmots provided a unifying presence which helped significantly to transform the atmosphere within the squad.
Belgium won 10, drew three and lost two under Wilmots with a win percentage of 66.67% which is highest than any other national team coach who have coached at least a minimum of five games.
Belgium is one of the six teams in 'Group A' of European qualifying groups. With Croatia, Serbia, Scotland, Macedonia and Wales 'Group A' was never an easy group. Still they won seven matches out of eight under the reign of Wilmots and are almost assured of qualifying for Brazil 2104.
It was not as easy as a journey as it looks for Belgium. When they failed to qualify for successive World Cups finals in Germany and South Africa an aggressive youth development programme was installed.
They established elite soccer academy in every Belgium province. Those academies are directly linked with top clubs and universities to guarantee a minimum 20 hours of elite training programme for every athlete with strong educational components. Now Belgium are reaping the rewards. Many of their footballers are playing in top European clubs.
Belgium now have world class players available in every position with the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Eden Hazard and Vincent Kompany among the Red Devils' key players.
"This is our time for success and we're serious about our ambitions," Thibaut Courtois said to The Guardian. "Belgian football has improved so much."
This current squad is the new golden generation of Belgium Football. They are gradually becoming an European powerhouse.
The belief of being great and the taste of success is what they lack. After qualifying for Brazil they can surprise many with their magic. They have all the ingredients to become a powerhouse with the accurate mixture and application of talents.
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