Monday, 1 January 2018

ROAD TO RUSSIA: BELGIUM - #RUSSIA2018 #WorldCup




The Belgian side, ranked 5th (FIFA ranking November), became the first European side asides Russia the host to qualify for the world cup finals as they finished on top of their group. They achieved this by winning every match in the qualifiers. With top players like Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Jan Vetronghen, Youri Tielemans, Dries Mertens, Vincent Kompany, Marouane Fellaini and the likes, Robert mertinez has a formidable squad at his disposal to win the World Cup Finals.

Nickname(s) - De Rode Duivels, Les Diables, Rouges Die Roten Teufel (The Red Devils)
Head coach - Roberto Martínez
Captain - Eden Hazard
Most caps - Jan Vertonghen (98)
Top scorer - Romelu Lukaku
Current FIFA ranking  - 5
Highest- 1
Lowest - 71
First international  - Belgium 3–3 France  (1 May 1904)
Biggest win - Belgium 9–0 Zambia  (4 June 1994) , Belgium 10–1 San Marino  (28 February 2001), Belgium 9–0 Gibraltar  (31 August 2017)
Biggest defeat - England Amateurs 11–2 Belgium  (17 April 1909)
World Cup Appearances - 13 (first in 1930)
Best result - Fourth place, 1986

EXPERIENCED PLAYERS TO WATCH

Thibaut Courtois
Date of birth -11 May 1992 (Age 25)
Place of birth - Bree, Belgium
Height -1.99 m (6 ft 6 in)
Playing position - Goalkeeper
Current Team - Chelsea      
Number - 1
National cap(s) – 53
Goal(s) Scored - (0)

The 25 years old goalkeeper plays for premier league side Chelsea and the Belgium national team. He has won the Europa league, premier league, Copa Del Rey and the La Liga. He has been the first choice goalkeeper for Belgium since 2011, featuring and playing every minute at every at world cup qualifiers and major torments.


Jan Vertonghen
Date of birth - 24 April 1987 (age 30)
Place of birth - Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
Height - 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position - Centre-back
Current team - Tottenham Hotspur
Number - 5
National Cap(s) - 98
Goal(s) Scored – (8)

A Belgian professional footballer who plays as a defender for English club Tottenham Hotspur and the Belgium national team. Vertonghen made his international debut for Belgium in 2007 and his 96 caps (among which three unofficial games, according to FIFA rules) are tied with Jan Ceulemans for the most in the history of the national team. He was part of Belgian squads that came fourth at the 2008 Olympics and reached the quarterfinals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016. He has won two Eredivisie, two KVNB cups. He can play multiple positions and established himself as a regular during the 2010 World Cup qualifying, he began to establish, at center back as former Ajax teammate Thomas Vermaelen's partner.  With Vincent Kompany having recent injury issues Belgium will look to count on the partnership of the pair.




Thomas Vermaelen           

Date of birth - 14 November 1985 (age 32)
Place of birth - Kapellen, Belgium
Height - 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position - Centre-
Current team - Barcelona
Number - 25
National Cap(s) – 63
Goal(s) Scored - (1)

Vermaelen is a Belgian professional footballer that plays as a center back for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Belgium national team. Being left-footed, he usually plays as a left-sided center-back and can play at left-back as well.[4] His key attributes include aerial ability, leadership skills, and his quickness with the ball at his feet. He is also known for his goal scoring ability as a defender. These features make him a threat against any team at the world cup finals.



Axel Witsel

Date of birth - 12 January 1989 (age 28)
Place of birth - Liège, Belgium
Height - 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position - Midfielder
Current team - Tianjin Quanjian
Number - 28
National Cap(s) – 87
Goal(s) Scored - (9)

Axel Witsel is footballer who plays for Chinese club Tianjin Quanjian. He can play as a right-winger, and can also play attacking midfielder, though his natural position is as a central midfielder.  He made his senior international debut in 2008 and has earned over 70 caps for Belgium, representing the country at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016. He is known for his long ranged unexpected shots. A few of those could shoot Belgium to champions at the world cup finnals at Russia.



Eden Hazard
Date of birth- 7 January 1991 (age 26)
Place of birth - La Louvière, Belgium
Height - 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position - Forward / Winger
Current team - Chelsea
Number - 10
National Cap(s) – 82
Goal(s) Scored - (21)

Hazard made his senior international debut in November 2008, aged 17. Eden is a Belgian professional footballer who plays for English club Chelsea and the Belgium national team. He primarily plays as an attacking midfielder and as a wide midfielder. Hazard's creativity, speed, and technical ability are widely acknowledged. He has been described is a superb passer and has earned lots of acclamations. Coaches, colleagues, and commentators praise him as one of the best players in the world due to his playing style. He is the present captain of the Belgian national team. There is no telling the damage the Belgian side can do under his leadership.



Mousa Dembélé
Date of birth - 16 July 1987 (Age 30)
Place of birth - Wilrijk, Belgium
Height - 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position - Midfielder Club
Current team - Tottenham Hotspur
Number - 19
National Cap(s) – 70
Goal(s) Scored - (5)

Dembele is a Belgian professional footballer that plays as a central midfielder for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and the Belgium national team, for whom he has scored 5 goals in 70 caps. Dembélé primarily plays as a central midfielder; he can, however, also operate as an attacking midfielder. He is a footballer who is big, powerful, technically gifted and who has excellent dribbling and passing abilities. These are reason why he is regarded as one of the best box-to-box midfielders in Europe




Dries Mertens

Date of birth - 6 May 1987 (age 30)
Place of birth - Leuven, Belgium
Height - 1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)
Playing position - Forward
Current team - Napoli
Number - 14
National Cap(s) - 60         
Goal(s) Scored - (13)

Dries Mertens is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a striker or winger for Italian club Napoli and the Belgium national team. Mertens made his Belgium debut in 2011 and has since made over 60 appearances and scoring 13 times for the national team. He was also part of the nation's squads at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016. In 2016, he was named Belgian Footballer of the Year ahead of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Radja Nainggolan.



Romelu Lukaku

Date of birth - 13 May 1993 (age 24)
Place of birth - Antwerp, Belgium
Height - 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position - Striker
Current team - Manchester United
Number - 9
National Cap(s) - 65         
Goal(s) Scored - (31)

Known to use his physicality to beat defenders, Lukaku, 24, is Belgium’s all time highest goal scorer with 31 goals in 65 appearances. Lukaku plays as a striker for Premier League club Manchester United and the Belgium national team. He is one of only five players to score 50 Premier League goals before his 23rd birthday, and the fourth player to score 80 before his 24th birthday. He is good in the air and excellent in front of goal with his feet. With quick and creative players such as Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne playing as playmakers for the Belgian squad Lukaku would look to add to the number of goals he has scored for his country, increasing his goal scoring record.



Kevin De Bruyne

Date of birth - 28 June 1991 (age 26)
Place of birth - Drongen, Ghent, Belgium
Height - 1.81 m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in)
Playing position - Midfielder
National Cap(s) - 58         
Goal(s) Scored - (13)


Kevin De Bruyne is a Belgian professional footballer who plays for English club Manchester City and the Belgian national team. De Bruyne plays mainly as an attacking midfielder but can also play as a winger or second striker. He is often described as one of the best modern day advanced playmakers due to his technique, wide range of passing, with distinct vision and long-range shooting skills. His playing style has frequently led to the media, coaches, and colleagues ranking him among the best players in Europe. The brilliance of this Belgian is incredible and there is no telling what he can do with the ball at anytime. Belgium go into the world cup as strong favorites knowing they have a world class playmaker to count on at the world cup.



Vincent Kompany

Date of birth - 10 April 1986 (age 31)
Place of birth - Uccle, Brussels, Belgium
Height - 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Playing position - Centre-back
Current team - Manchester City
Number - 4
National Cap(s) – 72
Goal(s) Scored - (4)

Vincent Kompany is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a central defender and captain of English club Manchester City. He has established himself as an integral part of the Manchester City squad and is one of the bargain buys of the revolutionized City era, blossoming into one of the Premier League's best center-backs. Kompany was included in the Premier League Team of the Year for two years in a row in 2011 and 2012 as well as being included in the 2014 team, and won the Premier League Player of the Season in 2012. Regarded as one of the best defenders in the world. Kompany has been described as one of the best defenders in world football, and is recognized to be a physically strong centreback, with excellent aerial ability, and mobility, as well as good technique and distribution. He is also a very accurate tackler with strong positional sense and excels at anticipating his opponents, proving to be real force to scare oppositions away.



Radja Nainggolan

Date of birth - 4 May 1988 (age 29)
Place of birth - Antwerp, Belgium
Height - 1.76 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)
Playing position - Midfielder
Current team - Roma
Number - 4 National Cap(s)            - 29
Goal(s) Scored - (6)

Radja Nainggolan is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Italian club Roma. He can aid his team both offensively and defensively. Nainggolan is a quick, dynamic, hard working, physically strong and a versatile midfielder, who is capable of playing in several midfield positions. He also possesses good vision, passing range, and technique. He is often used as playmaker in front of his team's defensive line. He is also known for his attacking drive, ability to get forward and good eye for goal from midfield, courtesy of his powerful and accurate striking ability from distance, his ability to close down opponents as well as his movement and ability to make late attacking runs off the ball. He will be a good choice to play in the center midfielfield for the red devils.



Tobias Alderweireld

Date of birth - 2 March 1989 (age 28)
Place of birth - Antwerp, Belgium
Height - 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position - Defender
Current team - Tottenham Hotspur
Number - 4
National Cap(s) - 68         
Goal(s) Scored - (3)

Tobias Alderweireld is a Belgian professional footballer who plays for Tottenham Hotspur and the Belgian national team. Mainly a central defender, he can also play as a right back. Toby has been a full international since 2009, Alderweireld has earned over 60 caps for Belgium and he also represented the country at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He can provide extra support to the red devil’s defense in Russia at the world cup finals.



Michy Batshuayi

Date of birth - 2 October 1993 (age 24)
Place of birth - Brussels, Belgium
Height - 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position - Striker
Current team - Chelsea
Number - 23
National Cap(s) – 11
Goal(s) Scored - (5)

A Belgian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Chelsea and the Belgium national team. Batshuayi scored on his international debut for Belgium against Cyprus in March 2015 and has scored 4 more increasing his tally to 5 international goals in 11 appearances. He was part of their side that reached the quarterfinals of UEFA Euro 2016. Batshuayi who has likened to Chelsea an ivory coast legend Didier Drogba for his speed, strength, positioning and link-up play, despite being shorter than the Ivorian. He’s a good replacemaent for Lukaku.



Marouane Fellaini

Date of birth - 22 November 1987 (age 30)
Place of birth - Etterbeek, Brussels, Belgium
Height - 1.94 m (6 ft 4 1⁄2 in)[3]
Playing position - Midfielder
Current team - Manchester United
Number - 27
National Cap(s) – 80
Goal(s) Scored - (16)

Marouane Fellaini is a Belgian professional football player who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Manchester United and the Belgium national team. On the international stage, Fellaini has been a full international for Belgium since 2007, earning over 70 caps. He represented the team at the 2008 Olympics, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016. He has scored 16 goals for the Belgian squad and would be looking to add to the numbers in what would seem to be his last world.



Youri Tielemans

Date of birth - 7 May 1997 (age 20)
Place of birth - Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, Belgium
Height - 1.76 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)
Playing position - Midfielder
Current team - Monaco
Number - 17
National Cap(s) – 4
Goal(s) Scored - (0)

Youri Tielemans is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Ligue 1 club AS Monaco and the Belgium national team.  Considered one of the brightest young prospects in world football. He twice won the league title, and was elected Belgian Professional Footballer of the Year in 2017. He is the youngest Belgian to play in the UEFA Champions League, making his debut in the competition at the age of 16 years and 148 days.  Tielemans represented Belgium at several youth levels and gained his first cap for the full side in November 2016, aged 19. Hes very creative with the ball and would be a boast to Belgium squad.


Yannick Carrasco

Date of birth- 4 September 1993 (age 24)
Place of birth - Vilvoorde, Belgium
Height - 1.81 m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in)
Playing position - Winger
Current team - Atlético Madrid
Number - 10
National Cap(s)  - 22        
Goal(s) Scored - (5)

Yannick Carrasco is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a winger for Spanish club Atlético Madrid and the Belgium national team.  He began his career with Monaco, where he scored 20 goals in 105 professional games, winning Ligue 2 in his first season and finishing runner-up in Ligue 1 in the second. In 2015, he joined Atlético Madrid for a reported €20 million, scoring in the final as they were runners-up in the UEFA Champions League.  Carrasco made his international debut in March 2015, and was selected for UEFA Euro 2016.



Christian Benteke

Date of birth - 3 December 1990 (age 27)
Place of birth - Kinshasa, Zaire
Height - 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position - Striker
Current team - Crystal Palace
Number - 17
National Cap(s) – 32
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Goal(s) Scored - (12)

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Christian Benteke is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a striker for English club Crystal Palace and the Belgium national team Benteke has earned over 20 caps for Belgium since making his debut in 2010. He missed the 2014 FIFA World Cup through injury, but was part of their team that reached the quarterfinals of UEFA Euro 2016.

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