World Cup season is beginning folks. The qualifiers are wrapping up and more and more teams are logging onto Expedia.com to book their flights to Brazil (Shameless plug of Expedia.com in the faint hope they read this blog and give me free stuff). So far the list of teams that have qualified are as follows:
Only one team can win the World Cup and only a few have a realistic shot at winning it. That’s not to say a team like the US or Switzerland cannot win the World Cup. Instead, I’m just advising you to have a backup. The consensus backup choice for most is Belgium. Why Belgium? Well it is an underdog since they haven’t qualified for the previous two World Cups or the last three European Championships so that satisfies all the fans who like to root for a dark horse. However, the team is extremely talented boasting a young skilled roster that has led them to a number 6 FIFA ranking. Therefore, they are also talented enough to challenge for a World Cup which means most fans who like rooting for winning teams will also be satisfied with the Red Devils.
Who plays for the Red Devils?
Belgium has two certified number one goalkeepers in Thibaut Courtois who is the number 1 goalkeeper and is currently having a fantastic season at Atletico Madrid and the number 2 is Simon Mignolet who’s clean-sheets are the main reason Liverpool is doing as well as they are this season. The defense is rock solid and that’s even without Vincent Kompany, the Manchester City stalwart, who is currently sidelined with an injury. The midfield is bolstered by the electric Eden Hazard and the effective Marouanne Fellaini who’s stellar season last year with Everton earned hims a transfer to Manchester United. The forwards may not be as awe-inspiring as Robin Van Persie or Neymar but Benteke, Mirallas, and Lukaku are quality goal-scorers especially with such a creative midfield behind them.
Lastly, this team is young and have been playing together for awhile. Although they under-performed at the Euro 2012 that was more of a learning experience for them. The more they play together the better they will get as exemplified by how easily the breezed through FIFA World Cup Qualifying. This team will only get better before the World Cup and if they make it out of the group stages (which I assume they will) then they will be a force to be reckoned with in the knockout round. Belgium has a history of being a small fractured nation when it comes to not only developing footballers but also the fractitious history of the country has prevented them from being fully unified behind their national football team. However, with a team as a special as this many Belgians are realizing that a “golden generation” like these players only comes around once in a blue moon. When they start firing on all cylinders they will be a force to be reckoned with which might just happen in Brazil so prepare a glass of Chimay and some Belgian chocolates in case your team bows out early.