The Belgium national football team is full of star power and talent. They have Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne, Lukaku, and many others, despite that, they have nothing to show for, in their trophy cabinet.
Belgium has got close to winning trophies in the past and by past we mean in the 70s and 90s but this current team is arguable the best they have ever produced.
This is the golden generation for Belgium and their time is running out to utilize them!
A few years back they had the likes Vincent Kompany, Fellaini, Mousa Dembélé, Toby Alderweireld, Dries Mertens, and Jan Vertonghen, but they have either left or are about to leave the scene.
Meanwhile, the under-21s did not even qualify for the European Championship this summer, while the under-19s are officially rated 16th in Europe.
There is still plenty of potentials there – Doku, Milan’s Alexis Saelemaekers, Stuttgart midfielder Orel Mangala – and a good framework in place to cultivate it, much of which Martnez put in place as technical director.
But, given Belgium’s size and the improbability of discovering another generation remotely similar to this one, you get the impression that Belgium’s time is either now or never.
They have a really good squad at their disposal so much so that they have been consistently ranked the No.1 side in the world on FIFA rankings.
Despite that, they have not materialized their ability on the World Cup stage or the Euros.
The problem is when it comes to the World Cups or Euros you have to prove your potential in those 90 mins of play. Being consistent at large doesn’t mean anything if you don’t channelize all you got in the few important games that matter!
And so far, Belgium has always faulted in the most important games!
In the 2018 World Cup, they had an excellent run, as they managed to reach the semi-finals.
They qualified from the group and were up against Japan in the Round of 16, in which they barely escaped, as they turned a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 win.
Next up they were up against Brazil where they held on to win the game 2-1 but faulted against the eventual winners France in the semi-finals.
At the Euros, they topped the group by winning 3 out of 3 against Denmark, Finland, and Russia.
In the round of 16, they overcame Portugal via a single Thorgan Hazard goal.
In the quarter-finals, they were knocked out by the eventual winners Italy. So, in both the World Cup and Euros Belgium was knocked out by the eventual winners of the competition. Tough luck!
This year’s winter World Cup might be the last chance this Belgium team has, to win anything significant.
And with such a talented side, which arguably is Belgium’s golden generation, it would be a crime not to win something.
And their manager, Roberto Martinez, agrees.
“I just feel that this generation deserves silverware,” he says. “They deserve something that will be talked about for the next 50, 60, 70 years. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.”
We hope for Belgium’s sake and football’s sake the world No.1 side wins something to prove why they are world No.1!