Current Fifa Ranking : 11th with 1098 points
World Cup Appearances : 1930, 1934, 1938, 1954, 1970, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002
Best Achievement : Fourth Place in 1986
Head Coach : Marc Wilmots
Captain : Vincent Kompany
Belgian football has been on a steady rise in recent years and has managed to rack up a number of remarkable players, with the vast majority plying their trade for some of the biggest clubs in Europe. Having already been labelled as the tournament’s official dark horses, many football fans are quite anxious to find out what exactly a team of this calibre will pull off in the World Cup and how far they will advance.
Being their first World Cup appearance in twelve years, the Diables Rouges have been drawn into a pretty favourable group which will allow them to showcase their much hyped up squad’s talent. Akinfeev and co will make sure Russia give the Belgians a stern test whilst Taider and Belfodil’s Algeria and Heung-Min’s South Korea won’t be any walkovers, yet one wouldn’t go far off the mark in expecting Belgium to pick up all three points in each match.
Their squad is literally littered with talent, with Mignolet recently confirmed as the number one after his impressive start to his Liverpool career. With Manchester City’s Kompany as team captain, a sense of security is already instilled in defence, further strengthened with the presences of Arsenal’s Vermaelen and Tottenham’s Vertonghen. Their midfield is equally impressive with the likes of Manchester United’s Fellaini, Cagliari’s Radja Nainggolan and Chelsea pair Hazard and De Bruyne, with the former proving to be a key player for both club and country. The strike force is also highly regarded mostly due to the scintillating form of Everton man Lukaku, including names such as Aston Villa’s Benteke and Napoli’s Mertens.
With progression to the knockouts a virtual certainty, further advancement will strictly depend on head coach Marc Wilmot’s team’s form as well as who they shall be up against. The Diables Rouges were highly impressive during qualification, managing to rack up seven successive wins and topping the group unbeaten. Considering that they should be able to top this World Cup group, it’s safe to say that Belgium have the squad and potential to reach the quarter finals, and any position in the top four would be earmarked as a success for this ever emerging football nation.