Belgium’s “golden generation” have one more chance to shed their reputation as serial underachievers after Kevin De Bruyne signalled the end of an era by admitting the World Cup in Qatar is likely to be his last.
Belgium’s” golden generation” have one further chance to exfoliate their character as periodical intellectuals after Kevin De Bruyne gestured the end of an period by admitting the World Cup in Qatar is likely to be his last. Boasting a star- speckled line- up featuring De Bruyne, Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku, Belgium will be ranked as one of the favourites when the event gets underway on November 20. Yet Belgium have plodded to live up to the hype in the decade since their talented crop burst onto the transnational stage with a pregnant 4- 2 palm over the Netherlands in 2012.
At the 2014 World Cup, Belgium bowed out against Argentina in the quarter- tests.
Four times latterly they lost to France in the World Cup semi-finals in what so far rates as the stylish run of an period that promised so important for the Red Devils.
For a platoon regarded as implicit title winners, those exits and a brace of European Championship quarter-final defeats in 2016 and 2020 weren’t satisfying enough, leading to Belgium being labelled intellectuals.
Former Belgium trainer George Leekens questioned the intelligence of Roberto Martinez’s side in a cutting assessment of their failure to win a jewel.
“Without a jewel, we climbed to first place in the FIFA rankings. But this first rank means nothing,” Leekens said.
“When you do not dare to do effects, nothing is with you. This intelligence and this will to win doesn’t live in Martinez’s group.”
With the vast maturity of Belgium’s stars now in their 30s, this World Cup looks decreasingly certain to be the generation’s last stage.
Arising bents Lois Openda, 22, Charles De Ketelaere, 21, and Amadou Onana, 21, offer stopgap for a bright Belgium future.
But De Bruyne, Hazard, Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Alex Witsel and Dries Mertens will be retired or well past their stylish by the coming World Cup in 2026.
Hazard, Belgium’s captain since 2015, acknowledges his platoon face a defining moment when they head to Qatar.
” There is always talk of the golden generation but there is some verity to it. We have spent nearly 10 times together,” Hazard said.
” Of course, we have got an inconceivable generation of players, but we still have not won anything. However, I suppose that is the one thing we still need to do, If we really want to earn that golden generation surname.”
Martinez, in his sixth time as Belgium master, will hope De Bruyne’s realization that he may not play in another World Cup adds a sense of urgency to the rest of the team’s 30- somethings.
The Manchester City midfielder will bring his family to the Gulf state for Belgium’s Group F games against Canada, Morocco and Croatia as he wants his children to see him play in the World Cup at least formerly.
“My family are going over for the group stages. I’m obviously 31 and I do not know what will be in four times. This is the first time my kiddies can come to the World Cup,” De Bruyne said.
“That’s why they’re coming. It’ll be special, an event I do not want them to miss. They’re six, four and two. The eldest two of them follow the football a bit but the son, not really, but she can go and enjoy the sun and play in the pool.
“I am agitated. It’ll be my third bone and it’s always special. These events are great as everyone is watching it. It’s big but there’s no point to stress about it.”
With Belgium extensively respected for their commitment to an attacking gameplan, De Bruyne’s family will not be the only bones hoping Martinez’s men eventually live up to their eventuality in Qatar. Read More FIFA World News…