Can Belgium Really Win The World Cup?

Belgium, Hazard Benteke Fellaini
Belgium, Hazard Benteke Fellaini

If you check out the World Cup 2014 odds with some of the major sportsbooks recommended on, you’ll see that Belgium are currently the fifth favourites to lift the World Cup next summer, but can they really achieve this feat?

The trip to Rio will be their first taste of an international competition since the 2002 World Cup.

Belgium have an enviable squad; 11 play in the English top-flight and the midfield trio of Eden Hazard, Axel Witsel and Marouane Fellaini have a combined cost of £92million! In fact the cost of their strongest starting XI is £152million, not including £17million Romelu Lukaku and £15million Mousa Dembele who only make the bench. Belgium have a strong squad blessed with considerable strength in depth. It is no surprise that with a squad of this strength Belgium have risen to sixth in the world rankings. The talent in this squad is more than capable of mounting a serious World Cup challenge.

While Belgium are a relatively young squad (the average age for their previous fixture against Scotland was 25-years-old), they have played together for five years. Many in the squad helped Belgium finish fourth in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Five years of unity is bound to give Belgium an advantage come Rio. They are a harmonious squad who have had plenty of time to gel.

The World Cup qualifying campaign has gone swimmingly for Belgium with seven wins and a draw, but the point remains that they haven’t played in an international competition for 12 years come Rio. Without taking anything away from their fantastic qualifying campaign, beating Scotland does not mean you’re capable of beating Brazil!

Christian Benteke and Romelu Lukaku were in fine form last season with 19 and 17 goals apiece, however, both have failed to reciprocate this form for country. Benteke has scored an average six goals in 16 games, while Lukaku has a return of three in 22. When facing Scotland, Daniel Van Buyten (defender) was the only player to have scored ten goals. The lack of a talismanic striker could lead to Belgium’s shortcomings in 2014. A potent goal-scorer is a game-changer and for Belgium to stand a real chance they need their strikers to start firing!

In conclusion, there is no doubt that Belgium have the players but their ultimate undoing is the lack of experience at the highest level, which will lead to them falling short of these astronomically high expectations.

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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