FIFA World Cup 2022: Belgium Team Analysis
In each of the previous four international competitions, Belgium has been a popular FIFA World Cup tournament pick.
Despite not making the 2012 Euros, it was obvious that something was developing. They possessed a defence that was at its best as well as an attack that was young and talented by 2014. The Belgians won their World Cup group, defeated the Americans, and then fell to Argentina 1-0 in the quarterfinals. The time of anticipated success followed, although no actual victories or awards were ever received.
When the door was wide open for them to reach the final, Belgium succumbed to Wales 2-0 in the Euro 2016 quarterfinal. Their World Cup run in 2018 came to an end in the semi-finals after a 1-0 loss to eventual champions France. Despite winning their group in the Euros last summer, Belgium was unable to defeat eventual champions Italy in the quarterfinal.
The centre backs are old now, the next generation isn’t producing nearly as much fresh potential, and it seems like the Belgians squandered their chance. This is their best and final option. The majority of Belgium’s major contributors are all older than 30.
Belgium’s Group F Fixtures for the FIFA World Cup
Belgium-Canada (22:00 local time, Ahmad bin Ali Stadium Al Rayyan)
Belgium-Morocco o16:00 local time, Al Thumama Stadium)
Croatia-Belgium (18:00 local time, Ahmad bin Ali Stadium Al Rayyan)
Martinez’s Strategy and Methods
In the Belgium dugout, the 2013 FA Cup-winning manager has stuck with this formation, where he lines up with two attacking midfielders and permits his marauding full-backs to advance. When he was in charge of Wigan Athletic, where he already had legendary status from a successful playing career, he was a major supporter of the 3-4-3 system. The tactical plan of the Belgians calls for them to press after the opposition has piled on top of them.
The only other time the Spaniard deviated from his tried-and-true line-up was when they faced Brazil in the 2018 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal. This brave deed helped Belgium achieve their best-ever FIFA World Cup result.
Martinez’s tactical acumen and the close bond he has with his teammates have left a lasting impression on the Red Devils’ current roster. Center Jan Vertonghen told FIFA, “He has two strengths: He is equally brilliant on the training pitch as he is off it. When it comes to the national team and Belgian football in general, he particularly shines at organization. He is also capable of assembling a squad of great players with a strong mix of personalities. It’s never an easy task, but he knows how to get all of his players singing from the same hymn sheet.
Kevin De Bruyne is a Key Player
Belgium will have a number of exceptional players competing for the adidas Golden Ball when play gets underway in Qatar, including the aforementioned Hazard, Lukaku, and Courtois, who all play for premier teams in Europe.
However, one national team player, Kevin De Bruyne, has distinguished himself in recent years by constantly putting forth exceptional performances. The brilliant schemer is consistently described as being from another planet by everyone who has had the chance to work closely with him, and this is not a coincidence.
Watch Out for Charles de Ketelaere
Even though he is only 21 years old, Charles De Ketelaere has already established himself as one of the sport’s most promising young players.
The big offensive midfielder, who stands 1.92 meters tall, drew the attention of AC Milan, who last summer paid €35 million to buy him after a standout season with Club Brugge. In their Champions’ League group stage encounter, he put on an especially strong showing against Paris Saint-Germain, giving Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe a night to forget as the clubs played to a 1-1 draw at the Stade Jan Breydel.
De Ketelaere is a versatile player who is equally at home on the left or right side of the front line, in the No. 10 spot, as a second striker, or as the line-leader. He performs particularly well when tested by foes under constrained circumstances.
Despite the fact that he has yet to secure a starting position in a Belgium squad that features the attacking prowess of Hazard, Lukaku, Michy Batshuayi, and De Bruyne, Martinez still has a very handy option in the young player. Throughout the competition, Martinez will need to carefully supervise the teenager.
The World Cup History of Belgium
The Red Devils, who took home the gold at the Olympics in 1920, failed to make an impression during the first five World Cup competitions and were eliminated in the first round every year from 1930 to 1970.
However, the national team would eventually go through better times, and from 1982 through 2002 they were able to participate in every global championship. The Europeans had their finest World Cup showing in 1986, placing fourth after falling to a Diego Maradona-inspired Argentina in the semi-finals. Belgian fans had to wait until the 2018 competition to see their team perform better, finishing third after defeating England in the Play-Off for Third Place that year.