Euro 2020 Team Profile: Belgium
With pressure mounting on the Belgian side to retain their number one spot in FIFA’s rankings, they will be looking to go all guns blazing in the upcoming Euro 2020 tournament. Ahead of France (1755 points) by a measly 25 points, Belgium (1780 points) is eying up a tournament win.
Maintaining their perfect playing style from the World Cup, the Belgian side flexed on an excellent record in the group stages with ten wins out of ten. After scoring 40 goals and conceding only three, Belgium finished the group by a whopping goal difference of +37.
The following are some of the things you need to know about Belgium’s current and previous state regarding Euro 2020.
- On August 17, 2020, Vincent Kompany announced his professional football retirement after joining Anderlecht as a manager. The disarray in the defence caused Roberto Martinez to call up youngsters, such as Sebastiaan Bornauw and Zinho Vanheusden.
- In addition to the newly called-up defenders, Roberto Martinez also added Jeremy Doku to the squad. As a result, the total sum of players that debuted under the Belgian coach tallied up to 19.
- Belgium has drawn in Group B in a group of Finland, Denmark, and Russia. The odds may look to be favouring the Belgians. Still, they will be playing away from home in Saint Petersburg and Copenhagen.
- With Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard nearing their 30th birthdays, Roberto Martinez will sense a sense of urgency. Also, another setback is the ageing defence. The manager must feel the need to deliver with this tournament.
Everyone has a role to play in epitomizing the success of a country. But, how has Belgium emerged to be on top in recent years? What have they done differently from others? Let’s find out:
· Lineup and Formation
The match against Denmark provided a comfortable win for the Belgians. Martinez deployed a 3-4-2-1 formation to tackle the Danish side. The lineup was: Courtois; Alderweireld, Denayer, Dendocker; Thorgan Hazard, Tielemans, Witsel, Castagne; Eden Hazard, de Bruyne; Lukaku.
T.Hazard and Castagne were deployed as attacking full-backs. Simultaneously, the back three consisted of Denayer and two centre backs Alderweireld and Dendocker. Lukaku led the attack and managed to score twice. The other two goal scorers were Hazard and Tielemans.
· Fast-Paced Attack
Belgium is known for its fast-paced attacking game. They break well on the counter, and with Kevin de Bruyne’s brilliance at their behest, they can do wonders with this team. Belgium breaks well on the counter, allowing them to attack more rapidly.
· Fluidity in Midfield
The versatile and star-studded midfield of Belgium allows them to rotate well. Adjoining the wing-backs, Belgium has the masterclass of Kevin de Bruyne, Leicester’s star-man Tielemans, Dries Mertens, and many more. Their side is fully loaded with creativity, aggression, and defence.
Last Five Results
Where does Belgium stand in terms of the last five results? Well, let’s see down below:
- November 18, 2020 – Belgium 4-2 Denmark
- November 15, 2020 – Belgium 2-0 England
- November 11, 2020 – Belgium 2-1 Switzerland
- October 14, 2020 – Iceland 1-2 Belgium
- October 11, 2020 – England 2-1 Belgium
· Kevin de Bruyne
It goes without saying. The first player that breaks into this Belgian side is Manchester City’s flame-haired midfielder Kevin de Bruyne. After the departure of Vincent Kompany and Real Madrid winger Eden Hazard’s injury case, de Bruyne is the man to watch for the next Belgium games. He dictates the play in either 3-4-2-1 or 3-4-3 possession by taking the central role in the former.
De Bruyne is fully locked and loaded with an arsenal of skills. A player who has unmatched quality, healthy weak foot, immaculate vision, brute strength, and the ability to bring artistry into motion, de Bruyne clearly sits on top in the current Belgian side.
· Romelu Lukaku
Starting up front in the Belgian side, Romelu Lukaku is a former Manchester United player looking to go all guns blazing. Possessing a central forward role in the current lineup, Lukaku has already scored more than 10 goals in Serie A. Only behind Lazio’s Immobile and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo, the race for top scorer in the Serie A is very tight.
· Youri Tielemans
Another name on the radar that most people will be ignoring is Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans. Hailed as the Leicester side’s future captain, Belgium will be looking to add icing on the cake with his skillset and showboating. The defence-splitting passes of Tielemans and the ability to execute goals correctly will allow the Belgian midfielder to shine in the upcoming European championship.
Manager Profile – Roberto Martinez
Belgium manager, Roberto Martinez, is a man of many talents. He has outplayed many of his opponents through smart play, the ability to execute games decisively and bring youth to action through a stringent selection process.
However, one of the main concerns for Roberto Martinez is the lack of forwards on the Belgian side. Recently in an interview, Martinez reiterated the importance of Divock Origi in the squad and stressed the coach to give him more minutes to be ready for the European championship.
The arrival of Takumi Minamino and Diogo Jota disturbed the minutes of Liverpool forward. Still, Martinez will be looking to give him playing time in the upcoming tournament.
There is not much to predict about the Belgian side. With de Bruyne at their side, this team is capable of achieving wonders. However, the main concern is the lack of experience and excellence at the back. With the ageing of defenders and lack of experience in others, Belgium will have to sort their defence out if they have eyes on the prize.
How do you see this side of Belgium? Would you assume they will win the trophy?