Belgium went into this summer's Euros as everyone's dark horses, boasting a strong contingency of star players who have shone at club level.
After an opening day defeat to Antonio Conte's Italy, the Red Devils came back with positive performances against Ireland and Sweden, winning 3-0 and 1-0 respectively.
A win against the Swedish team, spearheaded by the lethal Zlatan Ibrahimovic, guaranteed Belgium second spot in the group, which has now turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Article continues below
As a result of Hungary's surprising first-placed finish in group F, they were pitted against the Belgians in the bracket consisting of the so-called weaker teams.
Due to second-placed finishes by Spain and England, the two former World Cup winners have been placed in the same side as giants Germany, Italy and France, something unforeseen by most.
Article continues below
The only seemingly strong side in Belgium's path to the final are Portugal, who astonishingly finished third in a group comprising less experienced teams such as Hungary, Austria and Iceland.
Other teams that Marc Wilmots' men may have to overcome on the way to the competition's final are Switzerland, Poland, Croatia, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Hungary, who the Belgian's face in the last-16.
Therefore, at least on paper, Eden Hazard and co. can be slightly optimistic about getting past the teams on their side of the bracket.
If they do make it to the final, they are sure to face a tough encounter, as they could go up against one of the many former World Cup winners from the other side of the bracket. However, the Belgians do have enough talent and experience in the side to beat any team on the night.
Their World Cup appearance in 2014 was their first stint in a major competition since the 2002 World Cup.
The side is currently in the midst of a golden generation, with world class players such as Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne, Jan Vertonghen, Thibaut Courtois, Romelu Lukaku and several others being prominent players for their clubs, which further stresses the importance of making the most of the current tournament.
Unlike major footballing nations such as Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, and France, the Red Devils are not known to produce great talent on a regular basis, and will look to the ongoing competition as their best chance of making a mark on the international stage.
Belgium's best ever finish in a major tournament was runners-up at the 1980 European Championships, losing out to West Germany in the final. Since then, the Red Devils have failed to make a decent mark in tournaments.
Their favorable draw in the knockout phase provides them with the ideal opportunity to clinch their first ever international title, and with such an array of talent in their possession, Belgium will be looking forward to a long run in the competition.
Despite the Hungarian's promising group stage display, Wilmots' side will be favorites to progress, having greatly improved since their first game against the Azurri, and barring any surprises, the Belgians should have a fairly comfortable ride to the final.
How far can Belgium go in Euro 2016? Let us know YOUR predictions in the comment section below!
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms