Belgium has been regarded as a team that will surprise many people, in the upcoming World Cup edition, but if you’re a regular Premier League viewer, their recent nearly fault-less run in World Cup qualifiers won’t really surprise you.
The world football has seen a new football power house in the name of Belgium right now, with a team filled with many talented individuals and is a team that produced nearly flawless results in their World Cup qualifiers campaign.
Belgium had another flawless World Cup qualification campaign for Russia – and one wonders whether the summer’s competition will be the time when the golden era finally gets to kiss the feat they promise.
The success however, wasn’t a fluke and was a result of Belgium Football Federation’s newly adopted plan that was implemented right from the roots.
Belgium hasn’t only shown glimpses of being a powerhouse at world football, but their players have also clocked up the top leagues in world football, mainly English Premier League.
Some of the Belgian stars have been an integral part of many top clubs in England, including Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United .
Chelsea star Eden Hazard is a Belgian international and is accompanied by Thibaut Courtois (also regarded as one of the world’s top goalkeepers) and Michy Batshuayi.
In Manchester, Kevin de Bruyne (one of the Premier League’s best players right now) and Romelu Lukaku (who impressed with Everton and earned a move to Manchester United) are two players surging their title runs.
Meanwhile, Tottenham is also home to a number of Belgian players including stars like Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele along with Toby Alderweireld.
The other Belgian star players include Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, former Arsenal star Thomas Vermaelan, Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini, Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, Everton forward Kevin Mirallas and one of EPL’s terrifying strikers, Christian Benteke.
Besides England, Belgium skipper Daniel Van Buyten had plotted a success route at Bayern Munich along with Axel Witsel.
Coming back to the topic, the success was a result of planned footballing structure from the Royal Belgian Football Association and their director Michel Sablon explained all about the programs that he led to get all footballing parties in the country on the same page in 2002.
“We had a whole group of people around a table in the technical department and we decided to make a plan for three target groups,” Sablon told to Sportsmail.
“First of all was the clubs, secondly the national team and third the coaches of the schools.
“So we adopted the same vision for all three groups. We went to the clubs and asked them to play a certain way below Under-18 levels.
“We asked them to play 4-3-3 with wingers and three midfielders and a flat back four. In the old days, it was always a flat back three, so this was brand new to them.
“It took more than five or six years before everyone could bring themselves to accept it. Because for most of the coaches and the clubs, all they cared about was winning the game. Nothing else.
“But that was absolutely wrong for the development of all the players. Totally wrong.
“It wasn’t easy. In the beginning it was terrible. But eventually they began to see it. They went with us because they saw that what we told them worked. It made players better.”
It’s not yet job done for the current Belgian team but they’re certainly on the right track ahead of world football’s most prestigious tournament, FIFA World Cup.
Nonetheless, this new ‘golden generation’ of Belgium football carries a lot of promises and will only get better with time.