Belgium has a plethora of elite players and attacking talent to count on as they look to build on their third-place performance four years ago and defend their No. 2 FIFA world rating.
Still, there are a lot of flaws in this team’s lineup, and Martinez will have to work hard to find the proper combination, especially at the back.
Kevin de Bruyne, the undisputed star of Belgium’s national team, is regarded as one of the best players in the world.
His imagination is out of this world, with every pass possible at his disposal. He can also score goals and will look to head a potent strike force.
Alongside de Bruyne is Romelu Lukaku, who experienced a return to form at Inter before an injury halted his club season. Martinez, on the other hand, knows how to get the most out of the dangerous forward, who has been inconsistent throughout his career.
Other notable names in the Belgium side include Eden Hazard, who has faded into obscurity at Real Madrid, and Thibaut Courtois, who was the hero of last season’s Champions League final and has since established himself as one of the world’s top goalkeepers.
Charles de Ketelaere, who is in his debut season at AC Milan, is another player to keep an eye on.
Few countries have outstanding players on their coaching staff, but Belgium has former France and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry as one of its assistant managers on staff behind Martinez.
This group has an incredible amount of creative potential.
The presence of De Bruyne alone is a nightmare for opposing teams, but add Hazard, Lukaku, De Ketelaere, and Youri Tielemans to the mix, and this team will score goals.
Goalkeeping is also a strong suit for Belgium.
Courtois is widely regarded as the top goalkeeper in the world right now, but backup Simon Mignolet is doing well for Club Brugge in the Champions League.
Age is a huge issue for this Belgium team at the back.
Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are as experienced and reliable as they come, but they’re 33 and 35 years old, respectively, and have returned to Belgium to complete their club careers.
There is very little young talent coming through to replace them, meaning the two veterans will likely start for Belgium at the back when healthy.
Belgium World Cup group
The Red Devils were assigned to Group F. Only the top two teams from each group will progress.
Belgium is the highest-ranked squad in Group F, where they will face John Herdman and Canada before facing African powers Morocco and 2018 finalists Croatia.
With a knockout spot potentially already secured, the final game against Croatia might be a true litmus test of Belgium’s readiness for World Cup victory.