Country Report – Belgium

    A look at the country’s demographics, football history and its squad status prior to the Qatar World Cup 2022.

    Number of inhabitants: approx. 11.5 million.

    Continent: Europe

    Confederation: UEFA

    National Football Association: RBFA

    Number of members: around 400,000. (3.5% of total population)

    International trophies won: 1x Olympic Champion

    Best World Cup result: 3rd place in 2018

    Key Players

    In the past: Kompany, Wilmots, Ceulemans, Preud’homme, Pfaff, Gerets.

    Key current players: Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois. Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard.

    Coach, formation and possible lineup

    Coach: Roberto Martinez. (since 2016)

    Typical formation: 3-4-2-1 or 3-4-3

    Possible lineup:

    • GK: Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)
    • LCB: Jan Vertonghen (Anderlecht)
    • RCB: Zeno Debast (Anderlecht)
    • CB: Toby Alderweireld (Antwerp)
    • LM: Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid)
    • CM: Axel Witsel (Atletico Madrid)
    • CM: Youri Tielemans (Leicester City)
    • RM: Thomas Meunier (Dortmund)
    • ACM: Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)
    • ACM: Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)
    • ST: Romelu Lukaku (Inter)

    Age Report

    Players aged 25 or under in the current lineup: 2

    Players aged 32 or over in the current lineup: 3

    There are 3 players in this lineup that will (most likely) be playing their last World Cup this year: Vertonghen, Witsel, and Alderweireld.

    There are 2 players in this lineup that can play at least two more: Debast and Tielemans.

    The remaining 6 players could play in one or in some cases two more World Cups.

    Youngest player: Zeno Debast, born 24 October 2003 (18)

    Oldest player: Jan Vertonghen, born 24 April 1987 (35)

    Average squad age: 29.5

    World Cup Qatar – Group F


    Wednesday 23 November Belgium vs Canada

    Sunday 27 November Belgium vs Morocco

    Thursday 1 December Croatia vs Belgium

    Our view:

    Belgium has a lot of quality in their squad. They have a solid core of world-class players to rely on. Though this is true, when one of these players (Lukaku, De Bruyne, Courtois, Hazard) is absent or out of shape it immediately shows on the pitch. Nevertheless I expect they will top their group, as their opponents for the group stage (Morocco, Croatia, and Canada) are lacking in overall quality or experience when compared to the Belgian squad. Whether or not they will proceed any further will solely depend on the performance of Belgium’s key players. Seeing as this is probably the last World Cup for most of them though, if DHL (De Bruyne-Hazard-Lukaku) bring their A-game there is no telling how far they will go.

    Prediction: semi-final

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