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Character


Belgium national football team

Country

Belgium

World Cup

13 (1930-1938, 1954, 1970, 1982-2002, 2014-2018)

The Belgium national football team represents Belgium in men's association football.

The team has experienced a golden generation during the 1980s and during Generation V. From a struggling time during Generation III to fielding a better team for qualifications for the 2014 World Cup, Belgium is one of the teams to hold the no.1 spot in the FIFA Rankings.

Belgium qualified for 13 World Cups and 5 Euros.

History

1930, 1934 and 1938 World Cups

Belgium qualified for the first three FIFA World Cups, held in Italy, Uruguay and France. They didn't win a single match in any of the competitions.

Euro 2004-Euro 2012: Struggles

Belgium struggled in qualifying after the 2002 FIFA World Cup through Euro 2012. First, Belgium failed to qualify for the Euro 2004 finals tournament, then for the first time since 1978, Belgium didn't qualify for a FIFA World Cup in 2006 qualifying. In that time, Belgium fell out of the top 50; which was considered the major downfall for the team.

During qualifying for Euro 2008, Belgium's team was mostly an Eugenie Bouchard in 2015 and Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in 2016; as the team fell to a record-low 71st in the FIFA rankings.

After the 2006 World Cup, Belgium failed to qualify for Euro 2008, and then the 2010 World Cup, finishing fourth in their group; having been drawn with Spain and Bosnia and Herzegovina, who both qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals by winning their qualifying groups. They had a better qualification for Euro 2012; being seeded in Pot 4 and finishing third but again not qualifying for the finals nor the playoffs.

2014 World Cup: A new golden generation

With Marc Wilmots as coach, Belgium had started to develop themselves a Golden Generation in football. With eight wins and two draws to their belt, Belgium successfully qualified for the 2014 World Cup, their first major in 12 years.

Belgium drew Algeria, Russia, and South Korea, who all qualified for the 1986 FIFA World Cup. Belgium finished first in their group, and thus faced USA in the Round of 16. They won 2-1 in the round of 16 match and advanced to the quarterfinals to face Argentina. Their day at the 2014 World Cup ended with a 1-0 loss with an early goal in the first half.

Euro 2016

Belgium were seeded in Pot 2 for Euro 2016 qualifying due to their success in qualifications of the 2014 World Cup. They won the group, ahead of Wales; who qualified for a major for the first time in almost 60 years.

Belgium drew Italy, Republic of Ireland and Sweden in the group stage. The battle for first is expected to be between them and the Italians; the defending finalists. The first match since 2000 ended in a 0-2 loss against the Italy national football team, the defending finalists last tournament. It was the same score as Euro 2000, which was also a 2-0 loss.

2018 World Cup

In qualification for the 2018 World Cup, Belgium drew fellow 2014 World Cup teams Bosnia and Herzegovina and Greece, and Estonia, and Cyprus, and Gibraltar. Because Belgium's group had Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Greece, one of those 2014 teams didn't make the World Cup.

Belgium won their group, becoming the first team to qualify in Europe from the qualifying stage. They qualified on 3 September 2017.

Belgium topped their group with 3-0 win over debutant Panama, 5-2 over Tunisia and 1-0 over England. They came back from a 2-0 deflect to defeat Japan 3-2 in the round of 16, and then beat Brazil 2-1. This was Belgium's 2nd World Cup semifinal. Because they beat England 2-0 in the third place match, this was Belgium's best Cup result so far beating their 1986 FIFA World Cup result.

References