Belgium's Euro 2016 squad.

Belgium must perform at Euro 2016

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Belgium's rise to the top tier of international football has been steady, and yet meteoric at the same time.

They have a massive pool of talent to choose from, and have genuine quality players in their Euro 2016 squad in Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, and Jan Vertonghen, to name but a few of their stars.

However, this must be a tournament where Belgium advance to the latter stages - if not win - if they want to continue to build towards the ultimate aim - a World Cup.


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In 2009, Belgium were 66th in the FIFA World rankings, and hadn't qualified for a major tournament in seven years. Today, they are ranked 2nd, reached the 2014 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals, and are one of the favourites for Euro 2016.

It's a near unbelievable achievement in such a short time, with credit going to the production of top class players from Belgium academies along with a special generation of players.

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However, this team must show more signs of progress in France this summer. Group E will not be easy, with Italy, Sweden, and the Republic of Ireland posing different, but equally difficult, problems for the Red Devils. If they win this group, they face the runner-up of group D, which contains Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey and Croatia. There will be no easy passage to the quarter-finals.

This will be a true test of this team's mettle and hunger for a trophy, with World Cup 2014 being considered a success and failure at the same time.


They did reach the quarter-finals, but achieved that by barely beating USA after extra-time, and submitting to Argentina while looking like they had run out of ideas. If they are to avoid repeats of that summer, they must show more ambition by reaching at least a semi-final.

Success breeds success, Spain have recently shown that, so a positive performance, coupled with a strong World Cup qualifying campaign, will help encourage a charge for silverware in Russia for the 2018 tournament. A poor performance may cause doubts and panic to creep in, and may hinder Belgium's 'golden generation' of footballers.

Hazard and co. must perform, not just for this tournament, but possibly for future tournaments. No pressure.

How far can Belgium go this summer at Euro 2016? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!

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