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World Cup 2022
Expectations have fallen with regard to Red Devils

World Cup preview: Belgium

2022/11/23 16:50

Tipped for greatness over the past decade or so, Belgium's ageing 'Golden Generation' enters the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with many claiming they are now past their best. To weigh up whether this is indeed the case, here is Playmaker's latest World Cup preview on the Red Devils...

In collaboration with our good friends The Graphic Bomb, Playmaker have produced a World Cup guide packed with info on each of the nations taking part this winter and it's a pleasure to be able to share the stats, expert opinion and player analysis that we've stockpiled in the process. 

Here's our take on Belgium...

The Red Devils are currently regarded as one of the strongest sides in international football despite failing to secure a major trophy with what many consider to be an extremely talented squad.

There is a general feeling that the so-called ‘Golden Generation’ may have missed their best opportunity for glory and Qatar is unquestionably the last opportunity. However, the future looks very bright with some serious talent waiting in the wings...

�Getty / Soccrates Images

Star Man – Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku is indispensable to this side in many respects, offering a lethal combination of pace, power and finishing when fully fit. His overall international stats speak for themselves: Lukaku has scored 68 goals in 103 appearances for Belgium. 

The striker has proven his ability to deliver at the highest level with the player now back at Inter, where he has netted 65 goals in 98 games. 

Lukaku must remain fully fit and sharp for the Red Devils to make serious progress - he has the ability to be one of the stars of the tournament.

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Wildcard – Zeno Debast

19-year-old Anderlecht centre back Zeno Debast has recently made the jump to the Red Devils having featured in two Nations League fixtures already this season. 

Roberto Martinez has been hugely impressed by the rapid progress of Les Mauves' defensive prodigy. The teenager has become a mainstay of the current Anderlecht side and could well secure himself a place in the team at this World Cup. 


Historically, the Red Devils have done better at major tournaments when little is expected of them, and there is a feeling that the moment has passed for this generation.

There remain major concerns about whether the ageing defence is good enough and it remains the side's weak link despite its offensive output. Fans have worried for some time that the backline has not been reinvigorated with emerging talent. The team also finds itself on the difficult side of the draw, which means they will have to do it the hard way. 

It is essential for Belgium's fortunes that world-class players such as Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, and Romelu Lukaku all remain fully fit. The minimum expectation is to qualify from the group.


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