Belgium - World Cup Preview
History in the World Cup
Belgium have a mixed history in the World Cup where they were knocked out by a Rivaldo brace in 2002 following which they failed to qualify for the 2006 and 2010 editions. Then came their Golden Generation which lost to an early Higuain goal in the 2014 quarterfinals. and a Hal Robson-Kanu(lol) inspired Wales at Euro 2016 where they were one of the favorites. Their squad remains as good as ever but question marks remain over Roberto Martinez's ability to lead them to World Cup glory.
Belgium have won 8 and drawn 2 of their last 10 games , scoring 32 and conceding 7 while recording a few thumping wins in the process , including a 9-0 win over Gibraltar and a 4-0 win over Saudi Arabia. They breezed through their qualification campaign winning 9 games and drawing one , scoring an incredible 43 goals . This is to be expected considering the number of match winners in the squad - Eden Hazard , Kevin De Bruyne , Romelu Lukaku , Dries Mertens, Mousa Dembele to name a few and they even have an effective plan B in Marouane Fellaini.
Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Koen Casteels (VfL Wolfsburg).
Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint-Germain), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City).
Midfielders: Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Nacer Chadli (West Bromwich Albion), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Youri Tielemans (Monaco), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur).
Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea/Dortmund), Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Dries Mertens (Napoli).
There was no shortage of candidates for this position , believe me but if there is one player in this squad who could be the catalyst for a World Cup triumph , it is Kevin de Bruyne. He is the crown jewel of Belgium's Golden Generation. De Bruyne has taken his game to another level under Pep Guardiola and is currently one of the finest midfielders in the world. His vision ,passing and crossing ability are capable of unlocking the best of defences and he also has a thunderous long-range shot which means he cannot be allowed time and space on the ball at any cost. If he finds his rhythm and creates chances for the likes of Hazard , Mertens and Lukaku , this might just be Belgium's year.
Current - 3
Highest - 1
ELO : Current - 8
Highest - 2