Sweden faced the world's trendiest talent factory on Sunday night, succumbing to a 2-0 defeat as Belgium's reputation continues to grow. But where have the Red Devils come from? Have Belgium found a shortcut? No. They just read the map better.
A confident but fragmented nation churning out super talents at breakneck speed. Have they cracked the code? Have they found the talent development holy grail? Do they know something others do not? In recent years, the Belgian association had an ideological change, playing in smaller teams and synchronization of gaming systems to bare fruit in the future which is now.
And all that's good, but it does not create talent. Neither do academies in Brussels and Gothenburg either. Not on its own. For small countries that want to compete for big medals there are completely different terms and conditions.
Very few talented 10-year-olds become a very talented 20-year-olds, then it's about getting as many people as possible to train as much as possible for as long as possible in as good form as possible.
It is not primarily about a covenant manual, but to play as much football as possible.
Although "street football" is a euphemism for spontaneous football so is the premier Belgian success factor that managed to find the link between football obsessed adolescents and sensible training.
They have essentially become better at taking care of a group that they misplaced before.
When people talk about the world's trendiest talent in a national team, it's players like Vincent Kompany, Axel Witsel, Marouane Fellaini, Mousa Dembélé, Youri Tielemans, Nacer Chadli, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas, Divock Origi and Adnan Januzaj they are pointing to.
If other countries wants to learn something, it might not just be federal manuals you should concentrate on.
A good football climate is one that takes care of the talents available, players who want to spend the time required to become the best, and maybe get the chances they deserve and the support they need - no matter what streets they started on.
That's what Belgium has learned. That's what Belgium can teach others.
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