It’s been some years since Belgium has been called the “Golden Generation” and although in every major tournament, the Red Devils look like they are ought to make it, they somehow fail to do so.
So far, Belgium’s best performance at the FIFA tournament is coming in third place which was in the last edition by beating majestic England.
This time, the Diables Rouges have a favorable group draw and shouldn’t have that many problems qualifying out of the group stage. And the players they have also make them more than capable of competing at the knockouts. In fact, the squad depth of this Belgian side is so defined that they are considered one of the top contenders out of traditional champions and even win the FIFA World Cup itself.
Let’s analyze who might be making it into the final 26-man team of Belgium for Qatar 2022.
Belgium Squad for Qatar World Cup 2022 – Their Best 26-Man Roster
|Goalkeeper||Thibaut Courtois||Real Madrid (SPA)||30||96|
|Goalkeeper||Simon Mignolet||Club Brugge (BEL)||34||35|
|Goalkeeper||Koen Casteels||Wolfsburg (GER)||30||4|
|Defender||Toby Alderweireld||Royal Antwerp (BEL)||33||123|
|Defender||Arthur Theate||Stade Rennes (FRA)||22||3|
|Defender||Wout Faes||Leicester City (ENG)||24||1|
|Defender||Jan Vertonghen||Anderlecht (BEL)||35||141|
|Defender||Thomas Meunier||Borussia Dortmund (GER)||31||58|
|Defender||Timothy Castagne||Leicester City (ENG)||26||25|
|Defender||Zeno Debast||Anderlecht (BEL)||18||2|
|Midfield||Kevin De Bruyne||Man City (ENG)||31||93|
|Midfield||Hans Vanaken||Club Brugge (BEL)||30||22|
|Midfield||Youri Tielemans||Leicester City (ENG)||54||5|
|Midfield||Leander Dendoncker||Aston Villa (ENG)||27||29|
|Midfield||Amadou Onana||Everton (ENG)||21||2|
|Midfield||Yannick Carrasco||Atletico Madrid (SPA)||29||59|
|Midfield||Axel Witsel||Atletico Madrid (SPA)||33||126|
|Midfield||Charles de Ketelaere||AC Milan (ITA)||21||10|
|Midfield||Leandro Trossard||Brighton (ENG)||27||21|
|Midfield||Thorgan Hazard||Borussia Dortmund (GER)||29||45|
|Forward||Romelu Lukaku||Inter Milan (ITA)||29||102|
|Forward||Michy Batshuayi||Fenerbahce (TUR)||29||47|
|Forward||Dries Mertens||Galatasaray (TUR)||35||106|
|Forward||Eden Hazard||Real Madrid (SPA)||31||122|
|Forward||Lois Openda||Lens (FRA)||22||4|
|Forward||Jeremy Doku||Stade Rennes (FRA)||20||10|
Which Teams Are Belgium Facing In The Group Stage?
The European devils are in group F during which they will face the likes of Canada, Morocco, and Croatia.
Belgium Group Fixtures
|Wed, Nov. 23||Belgium vs. Canada||2 p.m.||Ahmad Bin Ali|
|Sun, Nov. 27||Belgium vs. Morocco||8 a.m.||Al Thumama|
|Thurs, Dec. 1||Croatia vs. Belgium||10 a.m.||Ahmad Bin Ali|
What Belgium Journey Would Look Like If They Make It All The Way?
Should Belgium win their group, they will be facing either of the possible qualifying teams, Spain or Germany from group E. If they manage to win either one of them, they might get Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal in the last eight. Following that, de Bruyne’s side will very likely meet France, the one who knocked them out in the last semi-final. Again, if Belgium does make it out of the semi, their final opponent will probably be Brazil.
On the other hand, if Belgium were to finish second in the group their round of 16 possible opponents, although might still be either Germany or Spain, in the quarter, they will probably face Brazil. Sticking with the possibility, their opponents in the following rounds will be Argentina and France respectively.
Belgium is deep and dangerous at the counter. Their ability to hit on the break worries even the big names eg the second goal they scored against the five-time world champion Brazil in the 2018 FIFA quarterfinal thus knocking them out of the competition.
They are tactically threatening as well with the ex-Premier league manager Roberto Martinez helming the mentoring position. The Spanish-born has been quite an expert in putting the right players in the right position during Belgium’s recent international fixtures.
The fact that couldn’t get missed is the presence of recent Ballondr final three, Kevin de Bruyne, and the UCL Golden Globe-winning shot-stopper, Thibaut Courtois.
Romelu Lukaku who was in quite an absolute form in the 2018 FIFA tournament, especially in the group games, is currently out of the option due to a muscle injury. His goals in the last world cup helped Belgium to qualify out of group games pretty easily. His presence in the frontline allows the country’s extraordinary midfielders to use their creativity to the full extent without having to worry to provide extra feet in the attack. The Internazionale forward however isn’t completely ruled out.
Also, coach Martinez is still to find the best lineup for his defense area. The issue is a bit serious considering full-back Thomas Meunier is still in doubt due to a broken cheekbone he suffered back in October.