Could there be a better remarkable turnaround in World football than Belgium’s? The Red Devils who were languishing in the 71st spot in the world ranking during the mid-2000s have risen to the farthest position any footballing nation could reach in the world but ironically, have no silverware to show for it.

By the time the Roberto Martinez-tutored side file out to face Russia on Saturday, it’ll be the nation’s fourth appearance at four consecutive international tournaments having missed out on the EUROS 2004, 2008, and 2012 as well as the 2006 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup competitions.

The success of the Red Devils right from 2014 could be tied to the availability of the once-in-a-lifetime generation of talented players who all came at the right time for Belgium to catapult the nation to the highest level in world football.

And as glorious as the “golden generation” has been, they’ve been consistently tagged as favorites in every tournament they’ve featured in. 

Betway Nigeria

However, winning silverware remains elusive. As such, lovers of the game across the world have failed to accept that the squad isn’t good enough to clinch a silverware or two. They come into the Euros as the world’s top-ranked nation, a position which is usually taken up by an ex-European Champion.

This summer, the majority of key players – Thomas Vermaelen, Thibaut Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, Eden Hazard, Jan Vertonghen, Thomas Meunier, Kevin De Bruyne, Axel Witsel, and Dries Mertens are close to or in their thirties; and there’s the suspicion that should the team fail to get it right this time, the Golden Generation has failed.

Having played in the last eight of the previous EURO Championship in France, losing shockingly to Wales and reaching as far as the semi-finals of the World Cup in Russia, losing to eventual winners France as they claimed the Bronze Medal. The squad is undoubtedly on an ascendancy spree.

Despite that, they need to do more and now is the time to take it a step further.

Romelu Lukaku and Dries Mertens
Can record goalscorer Romelu Lukaku shoot Belgium to continental glory this summer?

The squad isn’t bereft of reliable personnel; with Romelu Lukaku just leading Inter Milan to their first league title in ten years alongside his world-class colleagues, goals shouldn’t be hard to come by for the Red Devils.

Therefore, if there’s any chance for Belgium and Martinez to get a trophy in the bag, the time is now.

Another nearly-there campaign this summer will be unacceptable and wreak havoc on the team’s pedigree because winning the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is never guaranteed.

Indeed, anything but gold this summer will mean that the Belgian Golden Generation joins England as another talented pool of stars who never deliver at international tournaments.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blog Meets Brand