On Belgium’s golden era

belgium-goldenera

The UEFA Euro 2020 matchups have been drawn and teams are already preparing for these fixtures set in June 2020. One of the top favorites to lift the European trophy is Belgium who made a mark during the initial games and qualifiers. The Belgian heavyweights are the first team to qualify in the competition with their incredible display of football that resulted to impressive results.

This era of the Belgium national team also known as the Red Devils, is by far the best in the national team’s history. Belgium inked their name in the books of the competitions as they finished the qualification campaign with 30 points out of 30, 40 goals scored and only 3 conceded. They even upset the reigning champions Portugal and Roberto Mancini’s Italy in the records.  The team tops the FIFA rankings as well.

Historically, Belgium last played in the final of the European Championship was in 1980 where they were beaten by West Germany in a hard-fought match at Rome’s Stadio Olympico. They were featured at three Olympic football tournaments, including the 1920 Olympic which they won at home since they were the host of that summer Olympics back then.

This generation of Belgian players has the potential of bringing this classic moment back with Eden Hazard (Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) and Romelu Lukaku (Inter), three of the best players in their respective powerhouse clubs and currently at prime of their individual football career. Roberto Martínez’ Belgium has grown drastically both in the results of their games and players’ skills. De Bruyne became more clinical with his scoring and assists, while Lukaku and Hazard enjoys scoring for the national team.

On the other hand, the qualifying campaign could also be too good to be true and despite the impressive showoff, a true weakness lies within the team. Group I’s San Marino, Cyprus, and Kazakhstan have not found their strong form in recent years that resulted to underwhelming performances in both European and international games. Meanwhile, Scotland and Russia have also shown weakness in the recent matchups with their former key players withdrawing in the squad.

These poor performances of their contenders in the group could be the reason of their domination. France, England, Spain and Germany are also the current powerhouses that they are yet to face and that could make a difference in results. Belgium kicks off its Euro 2020 tournament on June 14 (GMT+8) against Russia at Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg.