Favourites to win Group H and progress through to the knock-out stages of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Belgium poses a great chance of breaking through for a maiden victory in world sport’s premier event despite having already been written off by many footballing professionals and fans alike.
Sinking to an all-time low FIFA ranking of 71 just six years ago, the Red Devils have experienced a meteoric resurgence in form in recent years and currently register as outright fifth favourite to win the 2014 World Cup.
The most experienced player selected in Belgium’s 23 man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup having claimed 77 competitive caps for his nation to date, defender Daniel van Buyten is confident the fit, in-form and impressive nature of the current Belgium National Team is likely to other nation’s off guard this June.
“We’ve got a good generation of players, many of whom ply their trade abroad and are playing regularly in international competition” van Buyten told AFP
“That’s made us a lot stronger.
“All the young players are suddenly playing abroad. They all used to play in Belgium. They were still good players, but only as good as the Belgian league.”
A chance to meet European powerhouse Germany in the round of 16, van Buyten, who currently plays for Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, commented on the general change in demeanour his club team mates have displayed in regards to Belgium’s legitimacy on the world stage in recent seasons.
“It’s great that such a big football nation knows a match against Belgium isn’t going to be easy” he added.
Sharing Group H with Russia, South Korea and Algeria, Belgium appear most likely to face off with Germany of Christiano Ronaldo-led Portugal if successful in progressing to the knock-out stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
A short $1.60 chance of doing just that, Belgium is currently offered at particularly generous odds of $17 at Ladbrokes Australia to lift the World Cup trophy on July 13th.