This nation is in the memory of a golden generation led by Jan Ceulemans, who finished second at Euro 1980 and fourth at the 1986 World Cup. Led by a new group of Belgians, Belgium scored several points, not only in the following two major tournaments, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 European Championship reached the quarter-finals, rising in the FIFA rankings to first place in the ranking process. They fell short of ambition. This mentality still reflected the times in 2007 when Belgium dropped to 71st in the FIFA rankings, the lowest place in Belgium. We showed that we tried to win with what we thought Belgian football should represent.
Belgium’s quality in the squad is self-evident, and I think I like the natural desire to be part of the team. Belgium manager Roberto Martinez believes they are teaching us that we can fight for silverware and compete against the best national teams in the world. That is more important to me because it will affect everyone. Now that many of us are playing at a high level, it follows that Belgium Football will improve, and we will have confidence that we will succeed. Being the number one team in the world for over three years proves that we can’t treat our players like we have 100-200 players of the same level to choose from.
Any football fan may assume from looking at the national team rankings that Belgium has had one of the strongest teams in the world for a while. But Belgium FC has no international medals regarding accomplishments or actual results. Belgium has high hopes because they were a star-studded team for several years and were referred to as “The Golden Generation,” but their sole notable accomplishment was finishing third at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Belgium had to make significant reforms and investments even though their efforts did not entirely bear fruit in order to produce the star generation.
And there can be little dispute that Belgium remains one of the favourites with just a few months till the World Cup. They have two players who are regarded as the greatest in the world at their positions, Thibaut Courtois and De Bruyne. Eden Hazard has made an encouraging comeback. Romelu Lukaku would still be allowed to join the most significant international teams. The golden generation is still much in operation for the time being. Since the defensive structure has always been Martnez‘s weak point, dating back to his time at Wigan and Everton, there is a perception that his preferred 3-4-3 encourages too much pressure on the penalty area. His senior centre-halves are also in a mild state of decline. A top team’s record of just one clean sheet in eight games is not good.