After a disappointing EURO 2020 where Italy eliminated them in the quarterfinals, France showed them the exit in the Nations League semifinals. The recent two international tournaments did not go as expected for Belgium. Belgium has qualified for the FIFA World Cup 2022 by winning their qualification group. They are at present ranked the number one team as per FIFA rankings. In the last World cup, Belgium finished third, their best finish in the tournament.
Belgium has very talented players who are representing Europe’s top clubs. Belgium’s current team, which played the qualifications, is quite a contender for the FIFA World Cup. Lukaku ended as the leading scorer in the qualifiers with five goals. He was also the top scorer for Belgium in EURO 2020 with four goals. There is no doubt that Lukaku will be leading the attack for them. Hans Vanaken, the attacking midfield player, also chipped in three goals in the qualifiers. Hans Vanaken plays for Club Brugge.
Belgium has a powerful midfield with world-class players like Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard. These two players have made a strong impact in the Belgium squad and the footballing world with their magic on the field. De Bruyne has equalled the record of the most number of assists in a single season in the Premier League. During his spell at Chelsea, Eden Hazard showed his worth and won trophies in England and Europe as well. Other players like Axel Witsel, Thorgan Hazard, Yannick Carrasco, Youri Tielemans and Nacer Chadli have contributed nicely. These players are part of big European Clubs and are have also represented Belgium in International tournaments in recent years.
Vincent Kompany was a great player in defence for many years. Since he retired in 2019, other well-known defenders took over the Belgium defence. Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Timothy Castagne, Leander Dendoncker have been a crucial part of the defence. These players were part of the team in the qualifiers.
It is pretty evident that one of the world’s best goalkeepers, Thibaut Courtois, will be their first-choice keeper. He has now been joined Simon Mingnolet, who has performed very well in his career and was also part of Liverpool FC.
Such a power-packed team ranked first in the FIFA rankings will be aiming to finish higher than before in the tournament. Roberto Martinez is their head coach. Belgium will now compete in the UEFA Nations League in June before heading to Qatar. Nations League will be a soundcheck for the team’s performance and help them improve their game before the World Cup.
How will Martinez figure out the perfect combinations that will help him succeed at the World Cup?