Belgium- The dark horses at FIFA World Cup 2014
Belgium are the dark horses at this World Cup and they can surprise many at the World Cup.
The FIFA World Cup, the Holy Grail of world football, is just round the corner and the anticipation is high for what is by far one of the biggest sporting spectacles on this planet. With the final squads almost named for most of the thirty two teams, preparations for the World Cup are on in full swing in Brazil as the countries try to lift the most coveted trophy in football.
You can count on the usual suspects when it comes to favourites for the title. England, Brazil, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Argentina, these are a few names who will always be in contention for the trophy; but this World Cup could well change the pecking order.
The outbreak of new talent on the football scene has been tremendous. With the game gaining a more global approach and a wider mass base, there is no corner of this world where the sport isn’t prevalent anymore. In a continent such as Europe, where football is religion, very few countries are out of the ambit of this game.
Belgium has never been very consistent at the World Cup but a best place finish of fourth shows that this is a team which can never be taken too lightly, but come 12 June, and the transformation from also-rans to serious contenders could begin. The Belgian team now boasts of some of the biggest names in football currently. With the likes of Vincent Kompany in defence, Eden Hazard in the midfield, Romelu Lukaku up front and Thibaut Courtois in goal, they will fancy their chances of going a long way in this tournament.
Many are of the opinion that this World Cup could well come down to which team has the best midfield. Spain, Germany and Brazil will obviously be the major favourites in this area of the pitch, but Belgium too has its own set of stars. A great asset for the team is the amount of youngsters that are present in the squad. Their creativity and work rate will really come in handy when the tournament reaches the knockout stages, and if all the talent is utilized well, Belgium should do very well. If one were to glance at the names in the midfield, one would find young but well-established names.
Eden Hazard obviously will have to shoulder the responsibility of leading the midfield. He will come in to the tournament on the back of a wonderful season with Chelsea, and will be looking to make good use of his form in the games to come. In central midfield lie Marouane Fellaini, Alex Witsel and Moussa Dembele. This trio will have to play a major role in Belgium’s success.
Fellaini did have a troublesome season plagued with injuries, but towards the fag end of the season, he did pick up some consistency and got some games under his belt for Manchester United and that should help his confidence. Axel Witsel on the other hand has had a brilliant season for Zenit, making heads turn with his raw pace, creativity and shooting ability and he will definitely have a big impact in all of their games. Dembele too was pretty consistent for Tottenham throughout the season with some good displays which if reciprocated for Belgium, could well spell trouble for the opposition.
They are very good at initiating attacks but what makes this trio very difficult to play against though is the strength and solidity they provide while defending. Their blend of creativity and solidity has been tough for opposition teams to break down, but it will be vital that Fellaini brings his ‘A’ game and thus maintains the shape of the team. Moving to the flank and this is an area where Belgium have the players who are widely considered as the future of football.