The most anticipated football event of the year in the form of UEFA Euro 2020 will be starting in June and all participating teams have started taking shape in the summer itself.
Fan favourites Belgium have finalised their team and manager Roberto Martinez has made sure to collect the players from across some of Europe’s biggest sides for their team.
With the Golden Generation of Belgian football taking the field, the entire nation will be hoping that Martinez’s men will bring home the trophy.
Here’s our guide to the Belgian football team and their chances in the tournament:
ROBERTO MARTINEZ AT THE HELM
Roberto Martinez, who has coached teams like Swansea City, Wigan Athletic, and Everton, will be leading the team to Euro 2020. He is well-known for the Swansea revolution that saw them play some of the smoothest passing football in the Premier League.
With little resources he had, he made sure that Wigan Athletic were winning runs full of fabulous football to ensure their survival every year. And with his help, the team has even bagged the FA Cup.
While he was with Everton, his skillset has helped Romelu Lukaku turn into a top-class forward, whose play has been admired by many teams including Barcelona, but he has always remained loyal to Belgium and led them to the top of the FIFA World Rankings.
Now, the head coach of Belgium is planning to translate the rankings dominance into a trophy.
Thibaut Courtois was one of the best goalkeepers the 2018 World Cup has seen as he has won the Golden Glove and has been named FIFA’s best goalkeeper of the year.
In his previous team, he took a little time adjusting. But once he found his rhythm, he bagged six clean sheets and conceded four goals for Los Blancos in La Liga last term. With his play, he will act as a great barrier at the back of Belgium.
With a tall and authoritative attitude, Toby Alderweireld is Belgium’s best defender.
He also has an exceptional passing range while being great at organising a defence. Once paired with Jan Vertonghen, the duo will be unstoppable.
Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin De Bruyne is right-footed but he possesses great shooting technique on his left and he is creative at opening new angles to pass. From 2017-2020, no Premier League player completed more through balls (32) or picked up more assists from open play (34) than De Bruyne.
Romelu Lukaku is a world-class forward player and has broken Cristiano Ronaldo’s scoring record during his debut season for Inter Milan. He continued to hone his skills since then and he is a good team player which will put Belgium in a winning spot.
FORM CHECK FOR THE TEAM
Belgium have been unstoppable at the qualifiers as they won every single game. Although the teams they faced were not tough, the team made it look like a cakewalk as they scored 40 goals and they won every match by at least two goals.
Belgium have won six of their eight games in 2020. The two losses came against Ivory Coast and the other with England at Wembley.
With their abundance of good centre-backs and one good full back, It is no wonder that Martinez has been consistently using the 3-4-2-1 game plan with Belgium. While Thomas Meunier acts as a wing-back and Courtois is the main man at goal, the team can always change their formation to surprise their opponents.
Alderweireld and Vertonghen are likely to flank Denayer, as he is slowly turning into a defender to alleviate the athletic deficiencies of his teammates.
Youri Tielemans is a dominant midfielder who is responsible for passing the ball forward to the main players, while Axel Witsel defends and screens the former.
Out wide and wing backs are responsible for defending and attacking the side’s width and Meunier and Thorgan Hazard will be handling these spots.
De Bruyne is one of the playmakers whose main role is to control the flow of the team’s offensive play.
The other playmaker’s spot is in a little suspense as Eden Hazard’s injury might not allow him to play and the spot might be taken by Dries Mertens, who is a veteran and is also capable of supreme passing and great goalscoring. But De Bruyne will be the one to lead the team play.
Lastly, Lukaku will be leading the line. He naturally excels at making runs off the ball to be on the end of passes and crosses the Belgian side. His ability to think and play with his team makes him one of the strongest strikers at Euro 2020.
WILL BELGIUM CLAIM THE TITLE?
With a wonderful game, Belgium has become one of the favourites for Euro 2020. They have lost just four matches after Roberto Martinez has taken the reins.
With a great squad possessing overflowing firepower and a strong defence, it is difficult to see someone stopping the team at Euro 2020. There is an optimistic chance that they will make it to finals.
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