Benteke, Lukaku, Mirallas and Eden Hazard to make Belgium Cup contenders?
As the cream of the crop in Belgian football spread across Europe, does this team have the making to go all the way in future tournaments?
They failed to qualify for Euro 2012 but are currently top their group for World Cup qualification with ten points from four games.
The world’s twentieth best national team, according to FIFA, have talent in abundance and it possible previous tournaments came too early for a young side.
The average age of their recent squad for a friendly against Slovakia was just 26. This figure will have been affected by veterans Daniel Van Buyten and Timmy Simmons, who are 35 and 36 respectively.
It will be interesting to see just how far this Belgian side can go in the next two or three tournaments. Some will be in the prime of their careers, with a good mixture of youth and experience.
The competition for goalkeepers is good, with Sunderland shot stopper Simon Mignolet currently preferred to Athletico Madrid’s Chelsea loanee Thibaut Courtois.
The backbone of Marc Wilmots’ strongest side is made up of Vincent Kompany in defence, partnered by either Thomas Vermaelen or Jan Vertonghen, with the other slotting in at left back. Central midfield is made up of Marouane Fellaini, Alex Witsel and creative midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.
The array of choice in attack includes Christian Benteke, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas and Eden Hazard.
Just a selection of players through the middle of the team shows Wilmots’ selection headache for each game, which is a nice dilemma to have.
The squad oozes pedigree and Champions League experience with some players at Europe’s biggest clubs, challenging for silverware.
Recent fee’s for players from Belgium show how highly players in this squad are regarded in Europe. Last summer Witsel joined Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg for a reported £32.5million and Hazard left Lille for Chelsea for a similar price. In the summer of 2011, Chelsea bought 18-year old Lukaku for a deal potentially worth £18million.
The deal’s being done for these players shows the flair and talent throughout the team. They possess a mixture of power, agility and class and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them do well in future tournaments.
They can now rival noisy neighbours Germany, Holland and France in the quest to conquer Europe, and, the world.
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