At every major football tournament, the Belgian team enters the tournament as a so-called insider tip. But despite their outstanding individual players, they have never been successful. Every few years, a new golden generation of players is proclaimed, but the Belgians have always failed – even if it was mostly due to a lack of luck or nerves.
At the World Cup in Russia, they only failed in the semi-finals against eventual world champions France. They had already reached the semi-finals at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, where they lost to Argentina in the semi-finals – the then outstanding player Diego Armando Maradona scored one of his most famous goals in this match. At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Belgium reached the quarter-finals.
At the time of the draw for the 2022 World Cup groups, Belgium were ranked number one in the FIFA World Ranking, but have since been overtaken there by Brazil.
Belgium played their World Cup qualification in Group E. Their opponents were Wales, the Czech Republic, Estonia and Belarus. They won 6 of their 8 matches and drew twice. Belgium scored an average of 3.1 goals and conceded only 0.75.
Belgium certainly do not lack big names. The star of the team is Manchester City attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, one of the world’s best providers of assists. Up front, Chelsea FC goal-scorer Romelu Lukako awaits as the recipient of his assists. Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Cortois is considered one of the best in the world.
Roberto Martinez has been coach of the Belgian national team since 2016. Before that, the Spaniard was a successful coach in the Premier League for several years, where he was in charge of Everton FC. Martinez has played 70 games with Belgium so far, winning 52 of them (average points score 2.39). His preferred playing system is a 3-4-2-1 or 3-4-3.
Thibaut Cortois (Real Madrid) – Jason Denayer (Olympique Lyon), Dedryk Boyata (Hertha BSC), Jan Verthongen (Benfica Lisbon) – Thomas Foket (Stade Reims), Jan Tielemanns (Leicester City), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Yannick Carrasco (Athletico Madrid) – Jeremy Doku (Stade Rennes), Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea FC), Eden Hazard (Real Madrid).
WORLD CUP 2022
Belgium will face runners-up Croatia, Morocco and Canada in Group F. The group stage should not be a hurdle for Belgium. While Morocco can be good for a surprise, Belgium should still prevail. The average odds for winning the group are 1.53 – very low, considering that Croatia is a strong opponent and this match could well end in a draw. Therefore, the level of victories in the other group matches will ultimately decide which of the two will win the group.
However, there is much to suggest that the Belgians will reach the quarter-finals. This bet can be found at odds of 1.90 with providers such as Bet365.
But will Belgium also be world champions?
The potential is definitely there. The team is well-rehearsed and has played successfully under coach Roberto Martinez so far. However, the Belgians lacked the necessary bite in important games and often showed a lack of concentration.
Currently, the team is in 7th place in long-term betting and a bet on the title is available at 13.00 odds. This is quite attractive, as Belgium are at least nominally no worse than the teams ranked ahead of them such as Argentina, Germany or Spain.