A squad with many English Premier League stars are an outside pick for an upset
Time Out staff
The team: Belgium fans have been waiting patiently for the fruition of the golden generation, and it looks like it has arrived in perfect time for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Take your pick from any position and you’ll find a world class player. Describing the attributes of each star Belgian player would require another guide entirely, but the likes of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, defenders Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen, midfielders Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne, and striker Romelu Lukaku could walk into almost any team at the tournament. Qualifying for Brazil was a breeze, but now the real challenge begins for the highly-rated Red Devils.
The coach: Marc Wilmots
Former Belgium international Marc Wilmots took the reins of the national team in May 2012, first on an interim basis, before being appointed permanently. He has been credited for his close relationship with the players and his ability to inspire confidence in the squad.
Key player: Eden Hazard
Chelsea have looked lost at times this season without their influential playmaker, Eden Hazard. The 23-year-old’s creative spark and confidence gives him the ability to turn a game almost single-handedly.
World ranking: 12 World Cup appearances: 11 Previous best: Fourth place in 1986 Qualification: Winner of group Form (qualifiers): WDWWWWWWWD Fixtures: June 17 vs. Algeria; June 22 vs. Russia; June 27 vs. Korea Republic