When the draw for the groups in the World Cup 2014 in Brazil was finished a lot of people commented that group H, where Belgium will play, is the most unattractive of all the groups. There are two European teams (Russia and Belgium), one Asian (South Korea) and one African (Algeria) and a lot of experts predict that European teams won’t have any trouble to progress into the next stage. In fact a lot of people expect that Belgium will finish number one in this group and some of them even expect Belgium to be one of those regular positive surprises that regularly happen on tournaments like this.
Participating in a FIFA World Cup tournament is not something new for the Belgian side. They have been part of eleven World Cup final tournaments so far and their most successful period was between 1982 and 1998 because in this period they didn’t miss one tournament. Belgium had some troubles with their team starting from 2002 and this is their first big tournament after 12 years. A lot of experts say that Belgium National Team can repeat their biggest success from 1986 when they’ve finished fourth.
These predictions are based on few things. First of all their road to getting qualified World Cup was impressive. They have ended first in their qualification group ahead of respective national teams like Croatia, Serbia and Scotland with impressive eight wins, two draws and no loss. They have proven to be calm when it was most needed.
Another thing that makes this team great is of course the players. Belgium national team has some world class players playing in the elite European leagues. Of course their main star is Chelsea’s player Eden Hazard and a lot of things will depend on his performance. However Belgium is not a one-man team and players like Christian Benteke (Aston Villa), Kevin Mirallas(Everton), Marouane Fellaini(Manchester United), Romelu Lukaku(Everton), Vincent Kompany(Manchester City) and few others guarantee good results and good games. As you can see most of the Belgian representatives play in the English Premier League and we can expect a similar style of playing on this World Cup. They play attacking football with usual 4-2-3-1 formation. All the players are physically fit and it seems that this team doesn’t have some major troubles on any position. But besides the physical readiness we must count on the mental preparedness too. Sometimes experience in tournaments like these can mean a lot. As we have mentioned before Belgium didn’t play on the last two World Cup tournaments.
The key role in the mental preparedness is left for the coach. Marc Wilmots has proven to be the perfect choice for this golden generation of Belgian players. He took the position of a national coach in 2012 and managed to create a powerful team. Although there are many stars in this team he manages to keep the team spirit and obviously he is a great motivator.
Keeping all these parameters in mind it is no wonder why most of the football enthusiasts expect Belgium to pass the group stage without any problems. In fact Belgium has a team that can reach the final but World Cup tournaments bring a lot of surprises so we will have to wait and see!