All 32 teams participating in the World Cup in Qatar are introduced.
In this issue, we introduce Group F, the Belgium national team, which has been ranked No. 1 by FIFA for four years with a group of stars known as the “Golden Generation,” but has failed to win any big titles, and its main players are aging.
|Number of appearances||14th（Three consecutive）|
|Highest Achievement||Third class|
（The Red Devils)
＜Results of last 6 games＞
・Known as the “Red Devils” the Belgian national team finished third at the World Cup in Russia and has been ranked No. 1 by FIFA for four years (until March 31, 2010). The quality of their attack, in particular, is on par with the best in the world, and they are capable of aiming for the top of the world.
・The “Golden Generation” of star players, including goalkeeper Courtois, who won the CL championship, and De Bruyne, who won the Premier League championship, are still going strong at the top level in Europe. On the other hand, the current team’s lineup is almost unchanged from the World Cup in Russia, due to the reluctance to use young players to encourage a generational change.
・The team has not won any big titles, the generational change has not progressed as expected, and there is little variation in tactics, and the mood in the country is not favorable toward winning the championship. However, if the new generation, including De Ketelaere, Openda, and Onana, can raise the level of their abilities and maximize the quality of the squad they have, they have the potential to break through the barriers that have kept them in the top eight or top four in the past.
|（Date of birth）||July 13, 1973（49）|
・A strategist with a mild-mannered personality
・During his six years in charge, he led Belgium to its best-ever record of third place at the World Cup in Russia and recorded the most victories as Belgium’s national coach.
・In the 2012/13 season, he took charge of Wigan Athletic and won the FA Cup, beating Manchester C in the final.
・He is influenced by the philosophy of Johan Cruijff.
Basic Formations & Tactics
Although the front three have outstanding destructive power, there are issues with offensive and defensive transitions, and an increased burden on the back.
・Despite a four-year reign at the top of the FIFA rankings, a “mismatch between frontline talent and team tactics” is one of the reasons why the team has not been a finalist, let alone win a big title.
Specifically, in the negative transition phase (switching between offense and defense), the front three remain in front, leaving only Wirtsel and Tielemans in the midfield, creating a numerical disadvantage in the center and forcing the entire team to move back, wasting an opportunity to maximize the destructive power of the FWs in the positive transition phase (defense and offense).
・Against the Netherlands in June, the team’s defensive instability was also exposed, as they failed to work well together and were easily caught behind the scenes to concede four goals.
・To solve these problems, a system similar to that of Conte-era Inter with Lukaku would be effective, in which the team would quit dominating the game by building up from the back and retaining the ball, lower the team’s center of gravity to stabilize the defense, and shift the axis of attack to positive transitions to utilize the space in front of them.
・With CF Lukaku as the absolute reference point, the team’s “flower” is to deploy the world’s strongest midfielders, De Bruyne and E. Hazard, in the shadows. The team is capable of developing a fast, vertical attack, and utilizing their world-class personalities to break down both individually and in combination.
・De Bruyne finds space up front, dribbles up and chooses the right play. Lukaku not only becomes the reference point for the long ball with his back to the opposing defense, but also uses his overwhelming physicality by jumping into open space to finish the ball. The involvement of both WBs adds depth to the attack in the final third.
・The team has a wide variety of WBs, including Meunier, who can play with physicality and speed, Carrasco, who can break through like a winger, T. Hazard, who can start attacks from the flanks and is also dedicated defensively, and Castagne, who can play either left or right without any difficulty.
・The weakness of this system is that it is unable to demonstrate its strengths in situations where the opponent is drawn to it.
・Witsel’s position in front of the final line prepares him for the risk of lost ball.
・When pushed into a situation, the five backs and two midfielders will handle the situation, while the three backs and two central midfielders will consolidate in the center to somehow repel the enemy’s attack.
・One problem is that the DF and GK do not have the quality to take care of behind the high line without anxiety when the final line is raised. With CBs such as Alderweirert and Vertonghen, who are not fast, they guarantee stability in the build-up, but must run the risk of being easily outwitted and conceding goals during negative transitions.
Star players（Top 8）
Kevin De Bruyne （MF/Manchester City）
・”The Red Devil’s Compass”
・Dribble, pass, shoot, everything is first-class “Modern Best Attacking Midfielder”. He possesses a high level of abilities required of a footballer, such as explosive running power, stamina, and high dedication. He also has a high level of tactical understanding, and can show a technical and propulsive dribbling breakthrough. In the attacking third, he delivers a high-precision pass that leads to a decisive opportunity that hits the space of the opponent’s defense from both feet.
・The destructive power and accuracy of his right foot kicks have improved year by year, and he has scored many goals with crosses from the right side. He is also good at powerful mid-range shots and scoring goals by jumping into the box.
・Last season, he scored a career-high 19 official goals.
Romelu Lukaku （FW/Internazionale Milano）
・”Belgium’s Physical Monster”
・In addition to his unparalleled explosive long sprints, he is a versatile attacker who has a strong presence even in front of the goal. With his dynamic finishing work that makes use of his beast-like physique and physical ability, he has been mass-producing top-level scores since he was a teenager.
・In Italy, as a target on the front line, he acquired post work to carry the CB on his back and keep the ball at his feet, and improved the degree of perfection as a CF. In addition, it has become more functional in any aspect of attack, such as finding a space on the side and polishing the jump and counter.
・In the 21/22 season, he moved to his old club Chelsea, but did not adapt well, and combined with the fact that he never forgot how comfortable he was at Inter, he returned this season on loan.
Eden Hazard （FW/Real Madrid）
・”A mass of unparalleled taste awaiting revival.”
・He was a shining star on the left wing at Chelsea, and his best play was to cut in on the left side and finish with a dribble from a low center of gravity that was so sharp that even if you knew it was coming, you couldn’t stop it.。
・He has a high level of game-making and passing quality, and has the necessary ability as an attacker.
・He is expected to make a comeback at Real Madrid, where he could be used as a “false 9” in place of Benzema. This season is a crucial time for him.
Thibaut Courtois （GK/Real Madrid）
・”Best active goalkeeper in the world”
・A guardian deity who stands in front of the goal with divine reflexes, a height of 199 cm and long limbs. Especially impressive is the dynamic save by jumping sideways. He has no flaws when it comes to defending goals, as he hits shots that seem unsaveable and boasts a high winning percentage even in one-on-one situations.
・With his catching ability, he also boasts strength in handling high balls at set pieces and when dealing with crosses.
・Last season, he made a series of big saves with a cool face. He helped Real Madrid win the La Liga and CL double crowns.
Youri Tielemans （MF/Leicester）
・”Key Players in the Offense and Defense”
・Since landing in the Premier League, he has become more balanced and stable in defense.
・His greatest appeal is on the offensive side. He brings rhythm to the attack with his wide vision and sharp kicks. He is involved in the build-up by scattering long and short passes, while also posing a threat to the opposition in the final third. He is also a good midfielder, often scoring goals with his powerful shots in the Premier League.
・This season, he was constantly linked with a move to Arsenal and Manchester U, but when negotiations failed to reach an agreement, he decided to stay.
Yannick Carrasco （MF/Atlético Madrid, ）
・”Cutting Edge on the Left Side”
・One of his most distinctive characteristics is his outstanding ability to break through. He has explosive speed and is good at dribbling, and cutting in from the left side to the center of the field is his specialty.
・Last season, he was second only to Vinicius in successful dribbles.
Leandro Trossard （FW/Brighton）
・Last season, he broke new ground as a left WB and scored 8 goals, the most in the team. He scored a hat-trick against Liverpool this season.
・He cuts into the opposition’s territory with his dribbling, using his slowness and skillful ball control, and uses his surroundings skillfully to score goals and provide assists. Even when surrounded by opponents, he escapes with a brilliant roulette and contributes hard work as well.
Charles De Ketelaere （MF/Milan）
・He is regarded as “De Bruyne’s successor” and is a left-footed prodigy who, with his keen vision and left-footed technique, is able to shoot on his own and make the most of his teammates with accurate last passes.
・With a height of over 190 cm and an elegant body, he is reminiscent of Kaka with his delicate touch, long and short passes based on precise situational judgment, and his ball skills and ability to break through without bothering when surrounded by opponents.
・After a long love call, he moved to Milan.
|Name||Age||Club team||Representative Results (Goals)|
|Thibaut Courtois||30||Real Madrid||94 caps||・Successful proposal in Ibiza in June.|
|Simon Mignolet||34||Club Brugge||35 caps||・Once a Premier League player, he still has the accuracy to shoot close range and stop penalties.|
|Koen Casteels||30||VfL Wolfsburg||4 caps||・The Bundesliga is in its eighth season and has the record for the most appearances by a Belgian|
|Matz Sels||30||Strasbourg||2 caps||・Second goalkeeper at EURO 2020.|
|Jan Vertonghen||35||Anderlecht||139 caps（9）||・CB with high corrective ability|
・1st in all-time national team caps
|Toby Alderweireld||33||Royal Antwerp||121 caps（5）||・Belgium’s new DF leader|
|Thomas Meunier||31||Borussia Dortmund||56 caps（8）||・Strong in the air with his height and abundant athleticism, he attacks the right side of the field.|
|Leander Dendoncker||27||Aston Villa||29 caps（1）||・Solid defense with physicality and scoring ability.|
|Timothy Castagne||26||Leicester||24 caps（2）||・Versatile, with offensive performance, both SB and WB.|
|Jason Denayer||27||Shabab AlAhli Dubai||35 caps（1）||・He left Lyon at the end of last season and is on a freelance basis, but was still called up for the Nations League in September.|
|Dedryck Boyata||31||Club Brugge||31 caps||・Scoring goals and playing solid defense saved Hertha Berliner from relegation last season.|
|Arthur Theate||22||Stade Rennais||3 caps||・A growing CB who has proven his ability in Serie A|
|Wout Faes||24||Leicester||1 cap||・Transfer to Leicester for 17 million € on the last day of the transfer market.|
・Future DF Leaders
|Zeno Koen Debast||19||Anderlecht||2 caps||・Belgium boasts a large CB|
・He sells his defense that makes the most of his physical strength and his high level of footwork.
|Axel Witsel||33||Atlético Madrid||124 caps（12）||・As a libero at the club, he nips pinches in the bud and distributes nifty passes.|
|Kevin De Bruyne||31||Manchester City||91 caps（24）||・Organizing a tournament for U-15s from big clubs called “KDP Cup.|
|Yannick Carrasco||29||Atlético Madrid||57 caps（8）||・According to the club president, my mother is the most beautiful of all soccer moms.|
|Youri Tielemans||25||Leicester||45 caps（9）||・Future captain and baby face.|
|Thorgan Hazard||29||Borussia Dortmund||45 caps（9）||・Smooth dribbling and dedicated defense.|
・Surpassed his brother (Eden Azar) in market value.
|Hans von Aachen||30||Club Brugge||21 caps（5）||・Last season they scored goals from Manchester C and PSG in the CL|
|Charles De Ketelaere||21||Milan||8 caps（1）||・C. Ronaldo has been his target since he was a boy.|
|Dennis Praet||28||Leicester||15 caps（2）||・Effective as a utility player|
|Alexis Saelemaekers||23||Milan||9 caps（1）||・Chance maker with sharp dribbling as a weapon.|
|Amadou Onana||21||Everton||1 cap||・Attracted by his physicality and ability to win the ball|
|Eden Hazard||31||Real Madrid||120 caps（33）||・Ankle plate removed, summer of rigorous workouts, vows to regain Chelsea-era brilliance|
・Participated in all four national team games in June
|Dries Mertens||35||Galatasaray||105 caps（21）||・Skilled FW who moves around the front line, setting up goals and assists|
|Romelu Lukaku||29||Internazionale Milano||102 caps（68）||・Currently holds the record for most goals scored by the national team|
|Michy Batshuayi||29||Fenerbahçe||45 caps（25）||・A wanderer at clubs, but a consistent performer for the national team.|
|Leandro Trossard||27||Brighton||19 caps（5）||・Post Hazard.|
|Loïs Openda||22||RC Lens||3 caps（1）||・A fast winger who made his debut for the national team last season after scoring 17 goals in Holland.|
|Jérémy Doku||20||Rennais||10 caps|
|・High-speed dribbler who came into the limelight at EURO|
・Suffering from the recoil of the acceleration force that reaches top speed in an instant, or a muscle injury
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