In 2009, Belgium was ranked 66th in the FIFA rankings. Six years later, there was a spectacular turnaround as they were the world’s best team. With football players like Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen, and Eden Hazard, the talk of a golden generation quickly began, and triumph in a big event was considered as only a matter of time. In 2012 Marc Wilmots received the golden ticket to coach the team but during his four years in charge course he failed to capitalize on an extraordinarily strong roster. We have noted down a preview of Belgium in Group B ahead of Euro 2020.
Roberto Martinez took over as manager following Belgium’s ignominious exit from Euro 2016. The Spanish international has created a happier and more cohesive camp. Under his supervision and after two years Belgium reached the World Cup semi-finals in Russia and was undoubtedly the greatest team in the tournament.
Kompany, Moussa Dembele, and Marouane Fellaini have all since exited the stage. On the plus side, Romelu Lukaku, Youri Tielemans, and Yannick Carrasco are all far better players than they were in 2018.
It’s an experienced team, but particularly in the defensive zone, it’s also an older one. Prior to the previous World Cup, Belgian media analysts predicted that it would be the generation’s final opportunity to win a major prize. They’re likely to say those words again in three years.
Belgium can go all the way making their way to the semi-finals. The national team can defeat any squad on their day as they have top-tier individual players as well as a strong team spirit that has developed through time. However, it is an old roster, and injuries to key players may make capturing the trophy more difficult. Witsel and Eden Hazard are not well and as the competition proceeds, they need both to be fully fit.
During a football tournament, Martinez may hit gold with his revival of crucial players, but it’s a long shot. With a full-strength team, De Bruyne and Tielemans could pull enough strings in midfield to get them to the final, and Big Rom could lead them there. However, the semi-finals appear to be a better option.
Also, check out the preview of teams in Group A and Group B including Russia, Denmark and Finland.