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BELGIUM FOOTBALL HISTORY

The Belgian national football team has represented Belgium in association football since 1904.

It is controlled by the Royal Belgian Football Association, the governing body for football in Belgium and the oldest football association in continental Europe (founded in 1895). Belgium's home stadium is the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels and Marc Wilmots is their national manager. He started as an assistant, but took over in May 2012 when Georges Leekens took the managerial position in Club Brugge. They are nicknamed the Red Devils (Dutch: Rode Duivels [ˈroːdə ˈdœy̯vəɫs]; French: Diables Rouges; German: Rote Teufel).

The best achievements from Belgium in international tournaments so far were the qualification for six successive FIFA World Cups between 1982 and 2002 including a fourth place finish in 1986, the title of European runners-up in 1980 and the 1920 Olympic Football Gold Medal on home ground. Other notable prestations are their four victories over reigning world champions: 2–0 against West Germany in 1954, 5–1 against Brazil in 1963, 1–0 against Argentina in 1982 and 2–1 against France in 2002.

Belgium played their first official game on May 1, 1904, against France; the incident-packed game ended in a 3–3 draw. This legendary first match for both teams at the Stade Vivier d'Oie ("Goose Pond Stadium") in Uccle, Belgium was attended by 1,500 spectators, and the Évence Coppée Trophy that would be handed out to the winner was logically not awarded. Twenty days later, Belgium and France were among the seven FIFA founding fathers. Prior to the 3–3 draw against France, a Belgian selection played several matches, but the squad contained some English players, so these are not added to the caps. For example, Belgium beat Netherlands by 8–0 on April 28, 1901 with the help of some Englishmen. It was then decided that Belgium would play twice a year against Netherlands beginning from 1905, generally once in Antwerp and once in Rotterdam (later Amsterdam). At that time, the national squad was chosen by a committee of representatives of the 6 or 7 main clubs. From the beginning until 1932, Belgian-Dutch cup trophies would be awarded in the "Derbies of the Low Countries".

In 1920 at their first official Olympic appearance, the Red Devils achieved the gold medal in home country after a controversial final in which their opponents Czechoslovakia left the pitch. While their results booked in the three Summer Olympics editions in the 1920s were still meritorious, during the three FIFA World Cup participations in the 1930s all matches ended in a defeat. After the absence of international football tournaments in the 1940s because of the Second World War, Belgium only qualified for one out of eight major tournaments in the 1950s and 1960s, i.e. the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland. According to journalist Henry Guldemont, some of his Swiss colleagues regarded the Belgian team as "favourites for the world title" at this event after a promising 4–4 opener against England. however, in the second and last group match against Italy, Belgium could not confirm as they lost 1–4. A key strength of the team would become its systematic use of the offside trap, a defensive tactic developed in the 1960s at Anderlecht under French coach Pierre Sinibaldi.

Belgium's most successful period started when they finished second in the UEFA Euro 1980. The 1980s and early 1990s are generally considered the golden age of the national team. Under the lead of Guy Thys, who coached more than 100 official games, Belgium established a reputation of being a physical, well-organized team that was difficult to play against.

At that time (1982–2002), Belgium qualified for every FIFA World Cup, and in most World Cups they also made it to the second round. After Guy Thys, also managers Paul Van Himst and Robert Waseige guided a national selection past the first round. Apart from FIFA recognitions for individual players, the team as a collective reached the semifinals in 1986, where they were stopped by eventual world champions Argentina. While the World Cups of 1990 and 1994 were reached directly, Belgium had to go through play-off rounds again to qualify for the 1998 and 2002 World Cups.

 

 

 

BELGIUM FOOTBALL TEAM

Fifa  Non-Fifa 
Name  D. o. B.  Position  Current club 
Courtois, Thibaut 1992-05-11 Goalkeeper   Atlético Madrid 1 0 0 0 0 0
Alderweireld, Toby 1989-03-02 Centre Back   Atlético Madrid 1 0 0 0 0 0
Kompany, Vincent 1986-04-10 Centre Back   Manchester City 1 0 0 0 0 0
Van Buyten, Daniel 1978-02-07 Centre Back   Bayern München 1 0 0 0 0 0
Vertonghen, Jan 1987-04-24 Centre Back   Tottenham Hotspur 1 0 0 0 0 0
Lombaerts, Nicolas 1985-03-20 Centre Back   Zenit St. Peterburg 0 1 0 0 0 0
Pocognoli, Sébastien 1987-08-01 Left Back   Hannover 96 0 1 0 0 0 0
Vanden Borre, Anthony 1987-10-24 Right Back   RSC Anderlecht 0 1 0 0 0 0
Fellaini, Marouane 1987-11-22 Attacking Midfielder   Manchester United 1 0 1 0 0 0
De Bruyne, Kevin 1991-06-28 Attacking Midfielder   VfL Wolfsburg 1 0 0 0 0 0
Witsel, Axel 1989-01-12 Centre Midfielder   Zenit St. Peterburg 1 0 0 0 0 0
Nainggolan, Radja 1988-05-04 Defensive Midfielder   AS Roma 0 1 1 0 0 0
Benteke, Christian 1990-12-03 Centre Forward   Aston Villa FC 1 0 0 0 0 0
Mertens, Dries 1987-05-06 Left Winger   SSC Napoli 1 0 0 0 0 0
Mirallas, Kévin 1987-10-05 Right Winger   Everton FC 1 0 0 0 0 0
Hazard, Eden 1991-01-07 Left Winger   Chelsea FC 0 1 0 0 0 0
Lukaku, Romelu 1993-05-13 Centre Forward   Everton FC 0 1 0 0 0 0

 

WORLDCUP HISTORY

FIFA World Cup Record FIFA World Cup Qualification Record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D* L GF GA
 1930 Round 1 11th 2 0 0 2 0 4 Qualified as invitees
 1934 Round 1 15th 1 0 0 1 2 5 2 0 1 1 6 8
 1938 Round 1 13th 1 0 0 1 1 3 2 1 1 0 4 3
 1950 Withdrew
 1954 Group Stage 12th 2 0 1 1 5 8 4 3 1 0 11 6
 1958 Did Not Qualify 4 2 1 1 16 11
 1962 4 0 0 4 3 10
 1966 5 3 0 2 12 5
 1970 Group Stage 10th 3 1 0 2 4 5 6 4 1 1 14 8
 1974 Did Not Qualify 6 4 2 0 12 0
 1978 6 3 0 3 7 6
 1982 Round 2 10th 5 2 1 2 3 5 8 5 1 2 12 9
 1986 Fourth Place 4th 7 2 2 3 12 15 8 4 2 2 9 5
 1990 Round of 16 11th 4 2 0 2 6 4 8 4 4 0 15 5
 1994 Round of 16 11th 4 2 0 2 4 4 10 7 1 2 16 5
 1998 Group Stage 19th 3 0 3 0 3 3 10 7 1 2 23 13
2002 Round of 16 14th 4 1 2 1 6 7 10 7 2 1 27 6
 2006 Did Not Qualify 10 3 3 4 16 11
 2010 10 3 1 6 13 20
 2014 Qualified 10 8 2 0 18 4
 2018 To Be Determined
 2022
Total Best: Fourth Place 12/20 36 10 9 17 46 63 123 68 24 31 234 135

 

BELGIUM FOOTBALL PLAYERS RECORD

* Belgium's greatest wins were against San Marino (10–1, in 2001) and Zambia (9–0, in 1994).[133] Their longest run of consecutive victories is 7 wins (October 1979-June 1980) and their unbeaten record is 11 games in a row without a loss - from October 1988 till October 1989 and from October 2010 until October 2011.

* The player with most caps is Jan Ceulemans, who featured in the national team 96 times between 1977 and 1991 (8256 minutes played);[95] the player with the longest career span is Wilfried Van Moer, whose appearance at the international level ended 15 years, 8 months and 10 days after his debut.

* The all-time Belgian topscorers are Bernard Voorhoof and Paul Van Himst, with a tally of 30 goals each. The players who scored most goals in one match are Robert De Veen, Bert De Cleyn and Josip Weber (5); De Veen also holds the record of having scored most hat-tricks (3).

* Apart from having gathered most caps, Jan Ceulemans also started most often as team captain (48 times).

* The youngest player to feature in the senior team was Fernand Nisot, at the age of 16 years and 19 days.

* Belgium's highest rank on the FIFA World Rankings, officially introduced in 1992, was fifth (in October 2013); Belgium's all-time high on the long-term World Football Elo Ratings was second (between 2 and 5 September 1920).

 

BELGIUM FOOTBALL BEST MOMENTS

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