Belgian Red Devils: Will They Surprise At 2014 World Cup?
Belgian Red Devils represent one of the most promising teams that qualified in 2014 World Cup. A team that mixes youthfulness of Hazard, Courtois and Lukaku, with the experience of Kompany, Van Buyten or Mirallas, aims to become the new Golden generation of Belgium.
Why would anyone consider Belgian Red Devils an interesting team to watch in World Cup? First of all, let’s take into consideration the results in the qualifying stage: 8 wins (out of which 7 consecutive wins) and 2 draws. Belgium qualified in a spectacular way, being undefeated in the qualifying and those 7 straight wins meant a national record. Belgian Red Devils were underdogs, but outclassed experienced the experienced teams of Croatia and Serbia! The most important victories were: 3-0 in Belgrade against Serbia and 2-1 in Zagreb against Croatia. They had 6 clean sheets and had +14 goal difference, proving an attacking appetite and a solid defense.
Marc Wilmots‘ team was drawn in an easy group against Algeria, Russia and South Korea in 2014 World Cup. It seems like a straightforward group for Belgium’s Red Devils, who will probably face Portugal in Round 16. Taking into consideration that Portugal does not look very good after 3-0 defeat against Germany, Belgium might have a real change for quarter finals. In the quarter finals they will probably face Argentina. which also struggled last night against Bosnia Herzegovina. Argentina would be a real test for Marc Wilmots’ tea,, but this team showed that it has the quality to beat the odds.
Belgium has a quality team, very creative, playing an attacking 4-3-3, frequently interchanging the attacking players. Belgium’s Red Devils captained by cultured defender Vincent Kompany has a serious depth in all compartments. Belgium has two of the best goalkeepers in the last season (Thibaut Courtois – best goalkeeper in UEFA Champions League; and Simon Mignolet – tremendous season with Liverpool). The defense is very experienced: Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen and Tomas Vermaelen. The experienced defense will be critical for Belgian Red Devils in the final stages, because Belgium play very offensive and the top level experience of the defenders will prevent the counters of the opponents. Many specialists consider that Vincent Kompany is the best defender in the world, being an imposable figure both on the pitch and in the locker room, his spirit leading Manchester City to 2 Premier League titles.
Belgium’s midfield is one of the most creative ones from the 2014 World Cup. The midfield compartment is very versatile, combining the strength of Mousa Dembele, with Fellaini’s presence and force and Axel Witsel’s confidence and sense of security. Axel Witsel was one of the most important Belgian Red Devils, shielding the back and delivering passes in the attack. Kevin De Bruyne was Belgium’s top scorer in the qualifying stage with four goals. The potential in attack is completed by the presence of Eden Hazard, who will be instrumental for Marc Wilmots’ team through his creativity, sense of play, clever runs that leave spaces for other teammates. Given spaces, Hazard will definitely shine and lead Belgium to glory.
The attack is completed by the deadly striker Romelu Lukaku. Lukaku will have to replace Benteke, who is injured. Romelu Lukaku is one of the most efficient strikers in Premier League. Moreover, Belgium has the advantage of completing its attack options with Kevin Mirallas.
The main strength of the team is represented by the versatility of the players, who can play on multiple positions. The statistics show a real depth of the team, having complete departments. The team is very attractive, scoring a lot of goals, both from action and from set pieces (Kompany is a real killer from corners). The team seemed to emulated Kompany’s fighting spirit. On the other hand, Belgian Red Devils might be surprised by lethal counters because the fullbacks advance a lot and leave spaces.
Belgian Red Devils are the underdogs that I would like to see in the 2014 World Cup final because they are a very very nice team. However,I believe that Belgium will be a real contender in EURO 2016, when the team will have emulate the entire potential of the team. Is this the new Golden generation of Belgium?