World Cup 2018: 5 reasons why Belgium can win the title
PC & training of the National Soccer Team of Belgium – 2018-06-15
Belgium have appeared on the grandest stage of FIFA World Cup 2018, Russia on twelve occasions. Commonly known as the ‘Red Devils’, Belgium has a plethora of talents capable enough to raise some eyebrows. Belgium have never won the prestigious trophy and their greatest football achievement dates back to 1920, where the men’s football team won the gold medal at the Antwerp Olympics.
In the last few years, Belgium Football has risen from the ashes. Their good showing landed them the top spot in FIFA rankings in 2015. In the last FIFA World Cup, the Red Devils had an impressive outing only to be ended by the eventual finalist Argentina in the quarterfinals. With an impressive and far-sighted manager and a squad full of big names, Belgium fans certainly have big reasons to remain hopeful this year.
Here, are the top 5 reasons why Belgium is a force to be reckoned with:
#1 Easy Group
Belgium has been drawn in Group G which looks to be one of the easiest groups on paper. With a group consisting of Tunisia, Panama, and England, Belgium has all the capabilities of winning the group without breaking a sweat. Their toughest match would be against the Three Lions side managed by Gareth Southgate which promises to be a mouth-watering clash. The winner of this match is the clear favourite to top the group.
The main priority of Roberto Martinez’s side would be to top the group. So, beating lower ranked opposition like Tunisia and Panama with an impressive scoreline is a must as this is a group where goal difference can be a major factor in deciding the winner of the group.
This leaves some hope alive in Belgium fans worldwide and the deciding factors can be better determined once the matches are underway. Although, if the recent international friendly against Egypt is any indication, the Belgium team is in for a landslide victory.
Also, if Belgium tops Group G, then they will face off against a favourable opponent in the next round. This guarantees passage to the quarterfinals. This is where the tournament heavy-weights come in and Belgium must prove their mettle.
#2 Coaching Staff
With a large plethora of talent which includes the likes of Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne, Chelsea winger Eden Hazard, and Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku, manager Roberto Martinez cannot ask for more.
Manager Roberto Martinez is an experienced campaigner and has made a name for himself with his impressive displays at Everton, Swansea City, and Wigan Athletic. Roberto is an intelligent coach and his tactical abilities are second to none. He is far-sighted and plays his cards according to the need of the hour. He has been on the charge of the national side for two years now and so he knows all about the team and the expectations. In charge of the so-called golden generation of Belgium football, all eyes would be on the head coach.
Belgium’s attack looks solid on paper with the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Divock Origi, and Michy Batshuayi all expected to put up a stellar show at the grandest stage. Add former France and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry to the mix it’s scary right? Thierry Henry, who was recently appointed as the assistant manager certainly brings an X-factor and the impressive forward line can reach sky high with his experience and knowledge.
#3 Balanced Squad
Belgium’s squad has a nice blend of youth and experience. With the likes of Thibaut Courtois at the goal, Vincent Kompany, and Toby Alderwelreld at the big defense, De Bruyne, Radja Nainngolan doing the midfield duties, and Romelu Lukaku leading the attack, Belgium would have lifted the trophy if it was played on papers.
The current Belgium squad is the best that the country ever offered. They are expected to do well and has a huge expectation. The best part is that there is competition for each spot in the starting eleven and coach Roberto Martinez will have to make huge selection decisions. Belgium has big names in every position and they are not dependent on the performance of an individual.
They have all the ingredients to come out all guns blazing and this is the reason why they are in the list of favorites of many football pundits around the world.
#4 The Big Three
The big three Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, and Romelu Lukaku who are potential darlings of their respective football clubs have the potential to turn the outcome of any matches single-handedly on their day.
Kevin De Bruyne: This Belgian midfielder is one of the main reason for Manchester City’s successful campaign. With 44 assists, and 21 goals in his 101 appearances is certainly one of the most valuable players in the world. Belgium will rely heavily on his services. De Bruyne is a great passer and will dictate the play from midfield with his creativity and create plenty of chances going forward.
Eden Hazard: The main man of Chelsea is certainly one of the players to look out for. With his dribbling, pace, and finishing, Hazard is simply a nightmare for any defender. He will do all the hard work running down the flanks, providing delightful crosses, and also will also be on the score sheet on any given day.
Romelu Lukaku: At only 25 years of age, Lukaku is the country’s all-time leading goal scorer. Not shy of his big-money move he hit the ground running at his new club Manchester United, providing scintillating displays one after the other. With his pace and strength, he can cause problems for any defenders. Belgium will depend a lot on Lukaku’s boot to get the goals.
Belgium has one of the best-attacking lineups and adding the likes of Mertens and Nainngolan to the mix, it certainly looks like fantasy football going forward.
#5 The Big Stage Experience At Club Level
Belgium may not have won the World Cup or Euro Cup but their players have achieved incredible feats playing all across Europe.
Belgium has players who have big game experience and that can be quite an advantage for them. They have players from clubs of Europe’s elite football leagues like Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Roma, and Napoli who have all achieved incredible domestic feats. They know how to handle pressure and retain their composure at crunch moments.
With a top manager like Roberto Martinez and assistant manager Thierry Henry, Belgium has all the potentials to take a giant leap and make this tournament a memorable one.