When people think of Belgium, they normally associate the country with chocolates and waffles, but in the past few years Belgium has been creating a “Golden Generation” of football players which have taken the Premier League by storm.
Vincent Kompany, Eden Hazard and Jan Vertonghen are to name but a few of the leading stars gracing England's top-flight. So, how far can this team go in the World Cup next year and beyond?
The World Cup in Brazil will be Belgium’s first international tournament since 2002, and real chance to show the world what they can do. I think winning the tournament will be a step too far due to their lack of experience at the top level but this young team can certainly make an impact.
I think anything less than the quarter finals will be a disappointment, but could go further depending on the draw. Marc Wilmots should use this tournament as a springboard for later success.
The Euro 2016 championships in France could be their second major final after reaching the finals of the European Championship in 1980. The current squad is very young with many bright prospects including Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois, and I feel that with a few more years development and experience they could be some of the best players in the world.
At the Euro 2016 championships anything less than the semi finals would be classed as an underachievement with a final or potentially winning the competition in reach.
The World Cup in Russia 2018 will be when many of their players will be hitting their peak, and for some potentially their last chance to win this prestigious prize, players such as Christian Benteke will be 27, whereas others will be in their 30s like Dries Mertens.
This will be their best chance to win the World Cup in my opinion as this could be some players’ final swansong for Belgium in the international stage whilst other players hit their peak.
This Belgium team looks promising with some of the most talented players to come out of the country for a long time, the only question is whether they can prove themselves against the top teams.
They drew 0-0 against France in August and lost to England last year which shows the team is not ready for the top level quite yet. This side has the players to become one of the great teams but only time will tell, just look at how England’s so called “Golden Generation” fared.
Just in case anyone did not know the talent and depth of the Belgium squad, here are in my opinion their best first and second team.
GK: Courtois/Mignolet, RB: Alderweireld/ Ciman, CB: Kompany/van Buyten, CB: Vermaelen/Lombaerts, LB: Vertonghen/Pocognoli, DM: Witsel/Simons, CM: Fellani/De Bruyne, CM: Dembele/Defour, RW: Mirallas/Mertens, LW: Hazard/Chadli, ST: Benteke/Lukaku
What do you guys think? How far will they go in Rio next year? Do you think they will win a major international trophy? Comment and leave your opinion below.
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