|Nickname(s)||De Rode Duivels|
Les Diables Rouges
Die Roten Teufel
(The Red Devils)
|Association||Royal Belgian Football Association (KBVB/URBSFA/KBFV)|
|Head coach||Roberto Martínez|
|Most caps||Jan Vertonghen (118)|
|Top scorer||Romelu Lukaku (51)|
|Current|| 1 |
|Highest||1 (November 2015 – March 2016, September 2018 – present )|
|Lowest||71 (June 2007 )|
|Current|| 2 |
|Highest||2 (September 2019)|
|Lowest||70 (14 October 2009, 7 September 2010)|
(Uccle, Belgium; 1 May 1904)
(Brussels, Belgium; 4 June 1994)
(Brussels, Belgium; 28 February 2001)
(Liège, Belgium; 31 August 2017)
(Brussels, Belgium; 10 October 2019)
(London, England; 17 April 1909)
|Appearances||13 (first in 1930 )|
|Appearances||6 (first in 1972 )|
The Belgian national football teamhas officially represented Belgium in international football since their maiden match in 1904. The squad is under the global jurisdiction of FIFA and is governed in Europe by UEFA—both of which were co-founded by the Belgian team's supervising body, the Royal Belgian Football Association (RBFA). Periods of regular Belgian representation at the highest international level, from 1920 to 1938, from 1982 to 2002 and again from 2014 onwards, have alternated with mostly unsuccessful qualification rounds. Most of Belgium's home matches are played at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels.
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,688 km2 (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.
The Évence Coppée Trophy was a single-game tournament in 1904 and the maiden match of the national association football teams of Belgium and France. The trophy was named after Évence Coppée, the Belgian patron who decided to organise this duel in the framework of the Franco-Belgian friendship. The incident-packed game took place at the Stade du Vivier d'Oie in Uccle, Belgium, and ended in a 3–3 draw. Because the encounter ended undecided, the Évence Coppée Trophy that was to have been handed out to the winner was not awarded.
Belgium's national team have participated in three quadrennial major football competitions. It appeared in the end stages of thirteen FIFA World Cups and five UEFA European Championships, and featured at three Olympic football tournaments, including the 1920 Olympic tournament which they won. Other notable performances are victories over four reigning world champions—West Germany, Brazil, Argentina and France—between 1954 and 2002. Belgium has long-standing football rivalries with its Dutch and French counterparts, having played both teams nearly every year from 1905 to 1967. The squad has been known as the Red Devils since 1906; its fan club is named "1895".
The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champion is France, which won its second title at the 2018 tournament in Russia.
The UEFA European Football Championship is the primary association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), determining the continental champion of Europe. Held every four years since 1960, in the even-numbered year between World Cup tournaments, it was originally called the European Nations' Cup, changing to the current name in 1968. Starting with the 1996 tournament, specific championships are often referred to in the form "UEFA Euro [year]"; this format has since been retroactively applied to earlier tournaments.
Football was one of the 154 events at the 1920 Summer Olympics, held in Antwerp, Belgium. It was the fifth time association football was on the Olympic schedule. The tournament was expanded to 14 countries, including a non-European nation (Egypt) by the first time.
During the national player career of forward Paul Van Himst, the most-praised Belgian footballer of the 20th century, Belgium took third place at Euro 1972. After that, they experienced two golden ages with many gifted players. In the first period, which lasted from the 1980s to the early 1990s, the team finished as runners-up at Euro 1980 and fourth in the 1986 World Cup. In the second, under guidance of Marc Wilmots and later Roberto Martínez in the 2010s, Belgium topped the FIFA World Rankings for the first time in November 2015 and finished third at the 2018 World Cup. Belgium currently participates in League A of the first UEFA Nations League edition.
Paul Van Himst is a retired Belgian football forward and a football manager. Now retired, he still supports R.S.C. Anderlecht, his former team.
In sport, a golden generation or golden team is an exceptionally gifted group of players of similar age, whose achievements reach or are expected to reach a level of success beyond that which their team had previously achieved. Below is a list of teams who have been referred to by the media as golden generations, most of which played in the 21st century.
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June 1986. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. With European nations not allowed to host after the previous World Cup in Spain, Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially resigned in 1982. Mexico was selected as the new host in May 1983, thus becoming the first country to host the World Cup more than once. This was the third FIFA World Cup tournament in succession that was hosted by a Spanish-speaking country, after Argentina 1978, and Spain 1982.
Belgium was one of the first mainland European countries to play association football.Its practice in Belgium began on 26 October 1863, after an Irish student walked into the Josephites College of Melle with a leather ball. Initially an elitist pastime, during the following decades association football supplanted rugby as Belgium's most popular football sport. On 1 September 1895, ten clubs for football, athletics, cricket and cycling founded the Belgian sports board Union Belge des Sociétés de Sports Athlétiques (UBSSA); a year later UBSSA organised the first annual league in Belgian football.
Melle is a municipality located in the Belgian province of East Flanders. The municipality comprises the villages of Gontrode and Melle proper. On January 1, 2011, Melle had a total population of 10,873. The total area is 15.21 km² which gives a population density of 715 inhabitants per km².
Rugby football is a collective name for the team sports of rugby league and rugby union, as well as the earlier forms of football from which both games evolved. Canadian football, and to a lesser extent American football were also broadly considered forms of rugby football but are seldome now referred to as such
On 11 October 1900, Beerschot AC honorary president Jorge Díaz announced that Antwerp would host a series of challenge matches between Europe's best football teams.After some organisational problems, on 28 April 1901, Beerschot's pitch hosted its first tournament, in which a Belgian A-squad and a Dutch B-team contested the Coupe Vanden Abeele. Belgium won, and beat the Netherlands in all three follow-up matches; FIFA does not recognise these results because Belgium fielded some English players. On 1 May 1904, the Belgians played their first official match, against France at the Stade du Vivier d'Oie in Uccle; their draw left the Évence Coppée Trophy unclaimed. Twenty days later, the football boards of both countries were among the seven FIFA founders. At that time, the Belgian squad was chosen by a committee drawn from the country's six or seven major clubs. In 1906, the national team players received the nickname Red Devils because of their red jerseys, and four years later, Scottish ex-footballer William Maxwell replaced the UBSSA committee as their manager. From 1912, UBSSA governed football only and was renamed UBSFA. During the Great War, the national team only played unrecognised friendlies, with matches in and against France.
Koninklijke Beerschot Voetbal en Atletiek Club was a Belgian football club from Antwerp. The club was founded in 1899 when most players of Antwerp left the club. It played in the 1920 Olympic Games Stadium named the "Kiel".
Antwerp is a city in Belgium, and is the capital of Antwerp province in Flanders. With a population of 520,504, it is the most populous city proper in Belgium, and with a metropolitan area housing around 1,200,000 people, it's the second largest metropolitan region after Brussels in Belgium.
The France national football team represents France in international football and is controlled by the French Football Federation, also known as FFF, or in French: Fédération française de football. The team's colours are blue, white and red, and the coq gaulois its symbol. France are colloquially known as Les Bleus. The French side are the reigning World Cup holders, having won the 2018 FIFA World Cup on 15 July 2018.
At the 1920 Summer Olympics, in their first official Olympic appearance, the Red Devils won the gold medal on home soil after a controversial final in which their Czechoslovak opponents left the pitch.In the three 1920s Summer Olympics, they achieved fair results (four wins in seven matches), and played their first intercontinental match, against Argentina. However, over the following decade, Belgium lost all of their matches at the first three FIFA World Cup final tournaments. According to historian Richard Henshaw, "[t]he growth of [football] in Scandinavia, Central Europe, and South America left Belgium far behind". Although World War II hindered international football events in the 1940s, the Belgian team remained active with unofficial matches against squads of other allied nations.
The 1920 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the VII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event in 1920 in Antwerp, Belgium.
The Argentina national football team represents Argentine Football Association in tournaments CONMEBOL/FIFA. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti in Buenos Aires.
The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and Italian aggression.
Belgium qualified for only one of eight major tournaments during the 1950s and the 1960s: the 1954 World Cup. The day before the tournament began, the RBFA was among the three UEFA founders.Dutch journalists considered the draw of the 1954 Belgian team in their opener against England to be the most surprising result of that match day, even more than Switzerland's victory over the Italian "football stars". However, Belgium were eliminated after a loss to Italy in the second (and last) group match. Two bright spots in these decades were wins against World Cup holders: West Germany in 1954, and Brazil in 1963. Between these, Belgium defeated Hungary's Golden Team in 1956. The combination of failure in competitive matches, and success in exhibition matches, gave the Belgians the mock title of "world champion of the friendlies".
The team's performance improved during the early 1970s, under manager Raymond Goethals. Fully dressed in white, as the White Devils,Belgium had their first victories at World and European Championships at the 1970 World Cup and Euro 1972. En route to that Euro appearance, their first, they eliminated reigning European champions Italy by winning the two-legged quarter-final on aggregate. At the end stage, they finished third by winning the consolation match against Hungary. In 1973, the denial of a match-winning goal in their last 1974 FIFA World Cup qualification match for UEFA Group 3 cost Belgium their appearance at the finals, causing Belgium to become the only nation ever to miss a World Cup final round despite not allowing a goal during the qualifiers. The next two attempts to reach a major finals were also fruitless.
Beginning with a second-place finish at Euro 1980,the 1980s and the early 1990s are generally considered as Belgium's first golden age. Coached by Guy Thys, they achieved their spot in the 1980 final with an unbeaten record in the group phase; in the final, they narrowly lost the title to West Germany with the score 1–2. Starting with the 1982 World Cup, and ending with the 2002 World Cup, the national team qualified for six consecutive World Cup end stages and mostly progressed to the second round. During this period, managers Guy Thys, Paul Van Himst and Robert Waseige each guided a Belgian selection past the first round. In addition to receiving individual FIFA recognitions, the team reached the semi-finals of the 1986 World Cup. After reaching the Euro 1980 final, they were unsuccessful at subsequent European Championships, with early exits from their appearances in 1984 and in 2000. During the late 1990s, they played three friendly tournaments in Morocco, Cyprus and Japan, sharing the 1999 Kirin Cup with Peru in the latter. The greatest talents of the Belgian team during this golden age were retired from international football by 2000. During the World Cup in 2002, Belgium defeated Russia and tied with co-hosts Japan and Tunisia to reach the round of 16.
After the 2002 World Cup, the team weakened with the loss of more veterans and coach Waseige.They missed out five successive major finals from Euro 2004 until Euro 2012, and went through an equal number of head coaches. A 2005 win over reigning European champions Greece meant nothing but a small comfort. In between, a promising new generation was maturing at the 2007 European U-21 Championship; Belgium's squad qualified for the following year's Summer Olympics in Beijing, where the Young Red Devils squad finished fourth. Seventeen of them appeared in the senior national team, albeit without making an immediate impact. Belgium finished in second (and last) place at the Kirin Cup in May 2009, and lost against the 125th FIFA-ranked Armenian team in September 2009. After Georges Leekens' second stint as national manager, his assistant Marc Wilmots became the caretaker in May 2012.
After two matches as interim coach, Wilmots agreed to replace Leekens as manager.Following his appointment, the team's results improved, such that some foreign media regarded it as another Belgian golden generation. The young Belgian squad qualified as unbeaten group winners for the 2014 World Cup finals, and earned Belgium's second-ever place in a World Cup quarter-finals with a four-match winning streak. Belgium qualified for Euro 2016 with a match to spare in October 2015, and took the top spot in the FIFA World Rankings for the first time in November 2015, to stay first for five months. In the following year, Belgium could not confirm their role as outsider at the European Championship with a quarter-final elimination by the 26th FIFA-ranked Welsh team. This prompted the RBFA to dismiss Wilmots. In the 2018 World Cup qualifying allocation, they were seeded first in their group, and made the final tournament under Spanish manager Roberto Martínez, becoming the first European team besides hosts Russia to do so. The team reached an all-time high third place in the World Football Elo Ratings after their win in the round of 16. Belgium was eliminated in the semi-finals by eventual champions France, but won the third place play-off against England.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Belgium national football team kits .|
In home matches, the team's outfield players traditionally wear the colours of the Belgian flag: black, yellow and red.Red dominates the strip and is often the sole jersey colour. The away colours are usually white, black or both; in 2014, the squad introduced a third, yellow kit. Their shirts are often trimmed with tricolores at the margins. Since 1981, the RBFA emblem has been the national team's badge; the previous badge was a yellow lion on a black shield, similar to the escutcheon of the national coat of arms. On 8 November 2019, the Royal Belgian Football Association revealed a new logo, which preserved the main elements of the previous one: the royal crown, the wreath and the Belgian tricolor.
For their first unofficial match in 1901, the Belgian team wore white jerseys with tricoloured bands on the upper arms. ... [that would indicate,] with a stripe, the number of times every player has participated in an encounter". Since 1904, Belgium's classic all-red jersey design has been altered twice. In 1904–05, the squad briefly wore satin shirts with three horizontal bands in red, yellow and black; according to sports journalist Victor Boin, the shirts set "the ugliness record". During the 1970s, manager Raymond Goethals chose an all-white combination to improve the team's visibility during evening matches.Around their third unofficial match in 1902, the choice was made for a "shirt with national colours
In 1905, a Dutch journalist wrote a post-match report that described three Belgian footballers to "work as devils".A year later, inspired by Belgium's red-coloured jerseys and three successive victories, Léopold FC manager Pierre Walckiers nicknamed the Belgian players "Red Devils". Because of the white home shirts Belgium wore in the 1970s, they were temporarily known as the White Devils.
Six clothing manufacturers have supplied the official team strip. Since 2014, it has been produced by Adidas,who was also the supplier from 1974 to 1980, and from 1982 to 1991. Former kit manufacturers are Umbro (early 1970s), Admiral (1981–1982), Diadora (1992–1999), Nike (1999–2010) and Burrda (2010–2014).
Numerous former and current venues in 11 urban areas have hosted Belgium's home matches.Most of these matches have been played in Brussels at the Heysel Plateau, on the site of the present-day King Baudouin Stadium—a multipurpose facility with a seating capacity of 50,122. Its field also hosts the team's final trainings before domestic matches. Since 2007, most physical preparation takes place at the National Football Centre in Tubize, or at Anderlecht's training ground in the Neerpede quarter. Apart from Belgian home friendlies, at the international level Belgium's national stadium has also hosted six European Championship matches.
In 1930, for the country's centennial, the venue was inaugurated as the Jubilee Stadium with an unofficial match between Belgium and the Netherlands.At that time, the stadium had a capacity of 75,000. In 1946, it was renamed Heysel Stadium after its city quarter. This new name became associated with the tragedy preceding the 1985 European Cup final between Juventus and Liverpool; 39 spectators died after riots in the then antiquated building. Three years after the disaster, plans were unveiled for a renovation; in 1995, after two years of work, the modernised stadium was named after the late King Baudouin. In May 2013, the Brussels-Capital Region announced that the King Baudouin Stadium would be replaced by Eurostadium, elsewhere on the Heysel Plateau; in 2018, however, the plans for the new stadium were cancelled definitively.
The first live coverage of a Belgian sporting event occurred on 3 May 1931, when journalist Gust De Muynck commentated on the football match between Belgium and the Netherlands on radio.Later, football broadcasts were also televised. As 60 per cent of Belgians speak Dutch and 40 per cent French, commentaries for the national team matches are provided in both languages. The matches are not broadcast in German—Belgium's third official language. During Belgium's tournament appearances in the 1980s and the early 1990s, Rik De Saedeleer crowned himself the nation's most famous football commentator with his emotional and humorous reports.
Initially the matches were transmitted mainly on public television channels: the former BRTN in Dutch, and the RTBF in French. Since 1994, commercial channels such as vtm and its sister channel Kanaal 2, and VIER in Flanders, have purchased broadcasting rights.As of May 2018, the Euro 2016 round-of-16 match against Hungary was the most-watched programme in Belgian television history, with an audience of over four million viewers out of 11.3 million Belgian citizens.
In April 2014, the VRT started transmitting a nine-piece, behind-the-scenes documentary about the national team filmed during the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, titled Iedereen Duivel (Everybody Devil).Cable broadband provider Telenet broadcast an eight-part documentary about individual players titled Rode Helden (Red Heroes).
2 weeks before 2018 FIFA World Cup, all international fixtures featuring Belgium are currently broadcast by VTM (in Dutch), RTBF and RTL Group (both in French) until 2022.
Multiple events were organised for the fans during the squad's peak popularity in the 2010s. During the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, a string of interactive events called the Devil Challenges were organised.The premise was that small groups of international players would do a favour in return for each of the five comprehensive chores their supporters completed ("colour Belgium red", "gather 500,000 decibels", etc.), all of which were accomplished. In June 2013, the Belgian national team's first ever Fan Day attracted over 20,000 supporters; a second was held after the 2014 World Cup. On the days of Belgium's 2014 World Cup group matches, large dance events titled Dance with the Devils took place in three Belgian cities. This type of happening was repeated during Belgium's Euro 2016 group matches.
Occasionally, the Belgian team directly supported charity. Between 1914 and 1941 they played at minimum five unofficial matches of which the returns were for charitable purposes: two against France,and three against the Netherlands. In mid-1986, when the Belgian delegation reached the Mexico World Cup semi-finals, the squad started a project titled Casa Hogar, an idea of delegation leader Michel D'Hooghe. Casa Hogar is a home for street children in the Mexican industrial city of Toluca, to which the footballers donated part of their tournament bonuses. In August 2013, the national team supported four social projects through the charity fund Football+ Foundation, by playing an A-match with a plus sign on the shoulders of their jerseys and auctioning the shirts.
In the 21st century, several national team players acted up against discrimination. In 2002, the national squad held its first anti-racism campaign in which they posed with slogans.A home Euro 2012 qualifier was given the theme of respect for diversity in 2010; this UEFA-supported action was part of the European FARE Action Week. Ex-Red Devil Dimitri Mbuyu—the first black Belgium player (in 1987) —was engaged as godfather, and other foreign, current, and former footballers who played in the Belgian top division participated. In 2018, four national team players spoke up against homophobic violence, in a video clip made by organisation Kick It Out.
Since 2012, the team logo is a red trident (or three-pronged pitchfork),an item that is often associated with the devil. Apart from that, the national squad has also had four official anthropomorphous mascots. The first was a lion in team kit named Diabolix, a reference to the central symbol in the Belgian coat of arms that appeared on the team jerseys from 1905 to 1980. In accordance with their epithet, the next mascots were a red super-devil and two fan-made modern devils; the most recent one, since 2018, was named "Red".
Fans of the Belgian national team display the country's tricolour national flag, usually with an emphasis on the red element. In 2012, local supporter clubs merged into one large Belgian federation named "1895" after the foundation year of the RBFA. One year later, 1895 had 24,000 members.The nationwide interest in the football squad has also been reflected by the occasional presence of Belgian monarchs at their matches since 1914. One of the greatest moments for the Belgian team and their 12th man was in mid-1986 when the Belgian delegation at the Mexico World Cup received a warm "welcome home". When the World Cup semi-finalists appeared on the balcony of Brussels Town Hall, the adjoining Grand Place square was filled with an ecstatic crowd that cheered as though their squad had won a major tournament.
The team's deterioration after the 2002 World Cup lead to their absence from the end stages of the next five major tournaments, and strained their popularity. Between 2004 and 2010, local journalists called the Belgian footballing nation "mortally ill".Of the fans that kept supporting their squad in bad times, Ludo Rollenberg was one of the most loyal. He attended the team's matches worldwide since 1990, missing only the 1999 Japanese Kirin Cup and two other matches by 2006, and was the only supporter to attend their matches in Armenia in 2009.
Just before the kick-off of a 2014 World Cup home qualifier, Belgium's footballers saw a first tifo banner, sized 10.5 by 11.5 metres (34 by 38 ft) depicting a devil in the national colours. The presence of many Belgian players in top leagues abroad, such as the Premier League, and promising results under Marc Wilmots, increased fans' enthusiasm and belief in a successful World Cup campaign. Because of this popularity peak, two Belgian monuments were decorated in national colours for the 2014 FIFA World Cup event; the Manneken Pis statue received a child-sized version of the new Belgian uniform, and facets of the Atomium's upper sphere were covered in black, yellow and red vinyl.
Belgium's main football rivals are its neighbours the Netherlands and France, with which it shares close cultural and political relations.
The matchup between the Belgian and Dutch team is known as the Low Countries derby, as of May 2018 [update] they have played each other in 126 official matches. Belgium won the first four—unofficial—matches against the Netherlands, but lost their first FIFA-recognised contest. The two national teams played each other biannually between 1905 and 1964, except during the World Wars. They have met 18 times in major tournament campaigns, and have played at least 35 friendly cup matches: in Belgium for the Coupe Vanden Abeele, and in the Netherlands for the Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad-Beker. The overall balance favours the Netherlands, with 55 wins against 41 Belgian victories. The Low Countries' squads co-operated in fundraising initiatives between 1925 and 1941; they played five unofficial matches for charity, FIFA and the Belgian Olympic Committee.
The clash between the Belgian and French sides is nicknamed le Match Sympathique in French ("the Friendly Match"); as of May 2018 [update] . The first match between Belgium and France, the Évence Coppée Trophy played in 1904, was the first official match for both teams and the first official football match between independent countries on the European continent. Until 1967, the sides met almost annually. As of May 2018, France has played most often against Belgium in international football. Belgium have the better record, with 30 wins to France's 25. However, France has two World Cups and have defeated the Belgians in all three World Cup encounters.they have contested 73 official matches
Since 1904, the RBFA, 24 permanent managers and two caretaker managers have officially been in charge of the national team; As of May 2018 [update] , a crew of over 20 RBFA employees guides the player group, including their Spanish manager Roberto Martínez, and goalkeeping coaches Erwin Lemmens and Iñaki Bergara. As of 6 July 2018, Martínez is statistically the best performing Belgium manager with an average of 2.46 points per match. Under Marc Wilmots, Belgium reached the top FIFA ranking spot in 2015, which earned him the title of Best Coach of the Year at the 2015 Globe Soccer Awards. Under Guy Thys, the squad achieved record results at World and European championships; World Soccer magazine accordingly proclaimed him Manager of the Year in 1986.this includes one national footballer selector.
Rather than developing innovative team formations or styles of play, Belgium's managers applied conventional tactics. At the three 1930s World Cups, the Red Devils were aligned in a contemporary 2–3–5 "pyramid".In 1954, Doug Livingstone's squad played in a 3–2–5 "WM" arrangement during World Cup matches. Throughout most of their tournament matches in the 1970s, the 1980s and the 1990s, the team played in a 4–4–2 formation. Since Raymond Goethals' stint in the 1970s, a key strength of the Belgian squad has been their systematic use of the offside trap, a defensive tactic that was already intensively applied in the 1960s by Anderlecht coach Pierre Sinibaldi. According to football journalist Wim De Bock, "master tactician" Goethals represented the "conservative, defensive football of the Belgian national team"; he added that in the 1970s, the contrast between the Belgian playing style and the Total Football of their Dutch rivals "could not be bigger".
In an attempt to win a match at the 1998 World Cup, Georges Leekens chose a 4–3–3 arrangement for Belgium's second and third group matches.Robert Waseige, Belgium coach around 2000, said that "above all, [his] 4–4–2 system [was] holy", in the sense that he left good attackers on the bench to keep his favourite formation. Wilmots opted for the 4–3–3 line-up again, with the intention of showing dominant football against any country.
The following 29 players were called up for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying matches against Russia and Cyprus on 16 and 19 November 2019, respectively.
Caps, goals and player numbers are correct as of 13 October 2019 [update] after the match against Kazakhstan.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Thibaut Courtois||11 May 1992||78||0|
|GK||Simon Mignolet||6 March 1988||22||0|
|13||GK||Matz Sels||26 February 1992||0||0|
|GK||Hendrik Van Crombrugge||30 April 1993||0||0|
|2||DF||Toby Alderweireld||2 March 1989||96||5|
|3||DF||Thomas Vermaelen||14 November 1985||77||2|
|4||DF||Dedryck Boyata||28 November 1990||16||0|
|DF||Jason Denayer||28 June 1995||11||0|
|21||DF||Timothy Castagne||5 December 1995||6||2|
|15||DF||Brandon Mechele||28 January 1993||1||0|
|DF||Elias Cobbaut||24 November 1997||0||0|
|6||MF||Axel Witsel||12 January 1989||104||9|
|MF||Kevin De Bruyne||28 June 1991||72||17|
|22||MF||Nacer Chadli||2 August 1989||59||8|
|11||MF||Yannick Carrasco||4 September 1993||40||5|
|8||MF||Youri Tielemans||7 May 1997||26||2|
|MF||Leander Dendoncker||15 April 1995||9||0|
|MF||Dennis Praet||14 May 1994||5||0|
|7||MF||Hans Vanaken||14 August 1992||3||0|
|19||MF||Yari Verschaeren||12 July 2001||2||1|
|MF||Maxime Lestienne||17 June 1992||0||0|
|10||FW||Eden Hazard (Captain)||7 January 1991||104||30|
|14||FW||Dries Mertens||6 May 1987||89||18|
|9||FW||Romelu Lukaku||13 May 1993||83||51|
|20||FW||Christian Benteke||3 December 1990||36||13|
|23||FW||Michy Batshuayi||2 October 1993||28||16|
|17||FW||Divock Origi||18 April 1995||27||3|
|16||FW||Thorgan Hazard||29 March 1993||24||3|
|FW||Leandro Trossard||4 December 1994||0||0|
The following footballers were part of a national selection in the past twelve months,but are not part of the current squad.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Jens Teunckens||30 January 1998||0||0||v. |
|GK||Koen Casteels INJ||25 June 1992||0||0||v. |
|DF||Jan Vertonghen INJ||24 April 1987||118||9||v. |
|DF||Thomas Meunier INJ||12 September 1991||40||7||v. |
|DF||Vincent Kompany INJ||10 April 1986||89||4||v. |
|DF||Christian Kabasele||24 February 1991||2||0||v. |
|MF||Adnan Januzaj||5 February 1995||12||1||v. |
|MF||Mousa Dembélé||16 July 1987||82||5||v. |
|FW||Benito Raman||7 November 1994||1||0||v. |
INJ = Withdrew from this squad due to injury
Between 1904 and 1980, mainly attacking Belgium players were recognised as talented footballers. In the team's first decade, striker Robert De Veen was very productive with 26 goals in 23 international appearances. ... [who] was often called the most skillful forward outside Great Britain". The key player of the victorious 1920 Olympic squad was Robert Coppée, who scored a hat-trick against Spain's Ricardo Zamora, and the penalty in the final. Other outstanding Belgian strikers in the interwar period were former top scorer Bernard Voorhoof and "Belgium's football grandmaster" Raymond Braine, considered "one of the greatest players of the era".Richard Henshaw described Alphonse Six as "Belgium's greatest player in the prewar period
Gifted players in the 1940s and the 1950s included centre-back Louis Carré and attackers Jef Mermans, Pol Anoul and Rik Coppens; ... If Paul says it was me, then he's right". In 1966, striker Raoul Lambert and defending midfielder Wilfried Van Moer joined the national team; while the UEFA praised Lambert for his skills at Euro 1972, Van Moer won three Golden Shoes and equalled Van Himst's fourth rank at the 1980 Ballon d'Or.at the 1954 World Cup, Anoul shone with three goals, and newspaper L'Équipe named Coppens the event's best centre forward. The 1960s and the early 1970s were the glory days of forward and four-time Belgian Golden Shoe Paul Van Himst, later elected Belgian UEFA Golden Player of 1954–2003 and Belgium's Player of the Century by IFFHS. At the 1965 Ballon d'Or, Van Himst ranked fourth, achieving Belgium's highest ever position at the European football election. Decades after Coppens and Van Himst had retired from playing football, a journalist on a Flemish television show asked them "Who [from both of you] was the best, actually?". Coppens replied: "I will ask Paul that
Belgium has seen two talented waves since 1980, from which several players in defensive positions gained international fame. In the 1980s and the early 1990s, goalkeepers Jean-Marie Pfaff and Michel Preud'homme were elected best custodians at FIFA World Cups,while FIFA recognised midfielders Jan Ceulemans and Enzo Scifo as the propelling forces of Belgium's 1986 FIFA World Cup squad. In 2002, after all players of this generation had retired, Marc Wilmots became Belgium's top scorer at the World Cup with five goals.
During the 12 years in which Belgium failed to qualify for major tournaments, another golden generation matured, most of whom later featured in foreign top football leagues; as of July 2013, 12 Belgian national team players would play the next season in the English Premier League.Five players of this generation gained both prime individual and team awards in foreign top competitions or European club competitions: defenders Vincent Kompany and Jan Vertonghen, wingers Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne, and forward Kevin Mirallas.
|Event||1st place||2nd place||3rd place||4th place|
Belgium failed to progress past the first round of their earliest five World Cup participations. After two scoreless defeats at the inaugural World Cup in 1930,the team scored in their first-round knockout matches in the 1934 and 1938 editions—but only enough to save their honour. In 1954, they tied with England (4–4 after extra time), and in 1970, they won their first World Cup match, against El Salvador (3–0).
From 1982 until 2002, Belgium qualified for six successive World Cups, and in the tournament finals they advanced beyond the first round five times.In the 1982 FIFA World Cup opener, Belgium beat defending champions Argentina 1–0. Their tournament ended in the second group stage, after a Polish hat-trick by Zbigniew Boniek and a 0–1 loss against the Soviet Union.
At Mexico 1986, the Belgian team achieved their then best-ever World Cup run at the time. In the knockout phase as underdogs they beat the Soviets after extra time (3–4);the unnoticed offside position of Jan Ceulemans, during the initial ninety minutes, allowed him to equalise (2–2) and force the match into extra time. They also beat Spain, in a penalty shoot-out after a 1–1 draw, but lost to eventual champions Argentina in the semi-final 2–0, and France in the third-place match (4–2).
In the 1990 FIFA World Cup, Belgium dominated periods of their second-round match against England;Enzo Scifo and Jan Ceulemans hit the woodwork. David Platt's volley in the final minute of extra time, described as "nearly blind" by Richard Witzig, avoided an apparently goalless draw and led to the sudden elimination of the Belgians.
In 1994, a 3–2 defeat to defending champions Germany saw Belgium go out in the second round again.Afterwards, the entire Belgian delegation criticised referee Kurt Röthlisberger for not awarding a penalty for a foul on Belgian Josip Weber. Three draws in the group stage of the 1998 World Cup were insufficient for Belgium to reach the knockout stage. With two draws, the 2002 FIFA World Cup started poorly for Belgium, but they won the decisive group match against Russia 3–2. In the second round, they faced eventual World Cup winners Brazil; Belgium lost 2–0 after Marc Wilmots' headed opening goal was disallowed due to a "phantom foul" on Roque Júnior, as Witzig named it.
In 2014, Belgium beat all their group opponents with a single-goal difference.Thereafter, they played an entertaining round of 16 match against the United States, in which American goalkeeper Tim Howard made 15 saves. However, they defeated the United States 2–1 in extra time. In a balanced quarter-final, Argentina eliminated Belgium, after a 1–0 victory.
At the 2018 World Cup, Belgium started with five consecutive victories (including group wins over Panama, Tunisia and England). In the fourth, in the round of 16 match against Japan, they suffered a major setback in the second half by being led 0–2, but goals from Jan Vertonghen and late substitutes Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli led to an unlikely and historical comeback to 3–2. Belgium then defeated World Cup favourites Brazil 2–1 on the back of an early Fernandinho own goal and a goal by Kevin De Bruyne,so Belgium reached the semifinals. Belgium lost to France 0-1 in the Semi-Final thus losing the chance to play in the final of the FIFA 2018 World Cup. They rebounded to win 2–0 in their second victory over England in the tournament to secure third place and the best ever World Cup result for the Belgian national team.
|Belgium's FIFA World Cup record||Qualification record|
|Round 1||11th of 13||2||0||0||2||0||4||Squad||Qualified as invitees|
|15th of 16||1||0||0||1||2||5||Squad||2nd of 4||2||0||1||1||6||8|
|13th of 15||1||0||0||1||1||3||Squad||2nd of 4||2||1||1||0||4||3|
|Group stage||12th of 16||2||0||1||1||5||8||Squad||1st of 3||4||3||1||0||11||6|
|Did not qualify||2nd of 3||4||2||1||1||16||11|
|3rd of 3||4||0||0||4||3||10|
|1st of 4, playoff loss||5||3||0||2||12||5|
|Group stage||10th of 16||3||1||0||2||4||5||Squad||1st of 4||6||4||1||1||14||8|
|Did not qualify||2nd of 4||6||4||2||0||12||0|
|2nd of 4||6||3||0||3||7||6|
|Group stage 2||10th of 24||5||2||1||2||3||5||Squad||1st of 5||8||5||1||2||12||9|
|Fourth place||4th of 24||7||2||2*||3||12||15||Squad||2nd of 4, playoff win||8||4||2||2||9||5|
|Round of 16||11th of 24||4||2||0||2||6||4||Squad||1st of 5||8||4||4||0||15||5|
|11th of 24||4||2||0||2||4||4||Squad||2nd of 6||10||7||1||2||16||5|
|Group stage||19th of 32||3||0||3||0||3||3||Squad||2nd of 5, playoff win||10||7||1||2||23||13|
|Round of 16||14th of 32||4||1||2||1||6||7||Squad||2nd of 5, playoff win||10||7||2||1||27||6|
|Did not qualify||4th of 6||10||3||3||4||16||11|
|4th of 6||10||3||1||6||13||20|
|Quarter-finals||6th of 32||5||4||0||1||6||3||Squad||1st of 6||10||8||2||0||18||4|
|Third place||3rd of 32||7||6||0||1||16||6||Squad||1st of 6||10||9||1||0||43||6|
|To be determined|
|To be determined|
|Total||Best: third place||13/21||48||20||9||19||68||72||—||Total||133||77||25||31||277||141|
With four successful qualification campaigns out of thirteen, Belgium's performance in the European Championship does not compare to their World Cup record. Belgium has hosted or co-hosted the event twice; they were chosen to accommodate the UEFA Euro 1972 from three candidates,and hosted UEFA Euro 2000 with the Netherlands.
At Euro 1972, Belgium finished third after losing 1–2 against West Germany and beating Hungary 2–1.The team's best continental result is their second place at Euro 1980 in Italy. By finishing as group winners, Belgium reached the final, to face West Germany. The West German Horst Hrubesch scored first, but René Vandereycken equalised courtesy of a penalty. Two minutes before the regular playing time ended, Hrubesch scored again denying Belgium a first European title.
At Euro 1984, in their last and decisive group match against Denmark, the Belgian team took a 0–2 lead, but the Danes won the match 3–2.Sixteen years later, Belgium automatically reappeared at UEFA's national team tournament as co-hosts. After winning the Euro 2000 opener against Sweden 2–1, two 2–0 losses against eventual runners-up Italy and Turkey eliminated the Belgians from the tournament by the end of the group stage.
In spite of winning with broad margins against the Republic of Ireland (3–0) and Hungary (0–4) at Euro 2016,Belgium's second very talented generation disappointed with a quarter-final exit. As during the tournament's qualifiers, Wales got the better of Belgium, with a 3–1 win.
|Belgium's UEFA European Championship record||Qualification record|
|Did not enter||Did not enter|
|Did not qualify||Preliminary loss||2||0||0||2||2||4|
|2nd of 4||6||3||1||2||14||9|
|Third place||3rd of 4||2||1||0||1||3||3||Squad||Quarter-finals win||8||5||2||1||13||4|
|Did not qualify||1st of 4, playoff loss||8||3||2||3||7||10|
|Runners-up||2nd of 8||4||1||2||1||4||4||Squad||1st of 5||8||4||4||0||12||5|
|Group stage||6th of 8||3||1||0||2||4||8||Squad||1st of 4||6||4||1||1||12||8|
|Did not qualify||3rd of 5||8||3||3||2||16||8|
|3rd of 4||6||2||1||3||7||6|
|3rd of 6||10||4||3||3||17||13|
|Group stage||12th of 16||3||1||0||2||2||5||Squad||Qualified as hosts|
|Did not qualify||3rd of 5||8||5||1||2||11||9|
|5th of 8||14||5||3||6||14||16|
|3rd of 6||10||4||3||3||21||15|
|Quarter-finals||7th of 24||5||3||0||2||9||5||Squad||1st of 6||10||7||2||1||24||5|
|To be determined||Ongoing (Group I)|
Football tournaments for senior men's national teams took place in six Summer Olympics between 1908 and 1936. The Belgian squad participated in all three Olympic football tournaments in the 1920s and kept the gold medal at home at the 1920 edition.Apart from the proper national team, two other Belgian delegations appeared at the Olympics. At the 1900 Summer Olympics, a Belgian representation with mainly students won bronze, and at the 2008 edition, Belgium's U-23 selection placed fourth.
Belgium's 1920 Olympic squad was given a bye into the quarter-finals, where they won 3–1 against Spain, and reached the semi-finals, where they beat the Netherlands 3–0. In the first half of their final against Czechoslovakia, the Belgians led 2–0.Forward Robert Coppée converted a disputed early penalty, and the action in which attacker Henri Larnoe doubled the score was also a matter of debate. After the dismissal of the Czechoslovak left-back Karel Steiner, the discontented visitors left the pitch in the 40th minute. Afterwards, the away team reported their reasons for protest to the Olympic organisation; these complaints were dismissed and the Czechoslovaks were disqualified. The 2–0 score was allowed to stand and Belgium were crowned the champions.
|Belgium's Summer Olympic Games record|
|Host nation, |
city and year
|No association football competition took place|
|Did not enter|
|No association football competition took place|
|Did not enter|
|Did not qualify|
|Did not enter|
|Did not qualify|
|Did not qualify|
Football at the Summer Olympics has been an under-23 tournament since 1992 (with three players of over 23 years of age allowed in the squad).
|UEFA Nations League record|
|2020–21||A||To be determined|
As of 14 July 2018 [update] , the complete official match record of the Belgian national team comprises 768 matches: 324 wins, 164 draws and 280 losses. During these matches, the team scored 1,337 times and conceded 1,246 goals. Belgium's highest winning margin is nine goals, which has been achieved on three occasions: against Zambia in 1994 (9–0), against San Marino in 2001 (10–1) and against Gibraltar in 2017 (9–0). Their longest winning streak is seven wins in two periods, and their unbeaten record is 23 consecutive official matches.
The entire match record can be examined on the following articles:
Upcoming fixtures are listed on the 2010s results page.
The top 10 most capped players - players with an equal number of caps are ranked in chronological order of reaching the milestone.
|Franky Van der Elst||1984–1998||86||1||MF|
As of 13 October 2019 [update] . The records are collected based on data from FIFA and RSSSF.
Highlighted names denote a player still playing or available for selection.
As of 7 September 2018 [update] , the RBFA lists 684 players who appeared on the men's senior national team. With 113 caps according to the RBFA, Jan Vertonghen has the most appearances for Belgium. Jan Ceulemans started the most matches as captain (48). Hector Goetinck had the longest career as an international footballer: 17 years, 6 months and 10 days.
|#||Name||Belgium career||Goals||Caps||Position||Goals per game|
|Paul Van Himst||1960–1974||30||81||FW||0.37|
|Robert De Veen||1906–1913||26||23||FW||1.13|
As of 13 October 2019 [update] . The records are collected based on data from FIFA and RSSSF.
Highlighted names denote a player still playing or available for selection.
Romelu Lukaku is the highest-scoring Belgium player with 51 goals.Those who scored the most goals in one match are Robert De Veen, Bert De Cleyn and Josip Weber (5); De Veen also holds the record for the most hat-tricks with three. Belgium's fastest goal after the initial kick-off was scored by Christian Benteke, 8.1 seconds into the match against Gibraltar on 10 October 2016.
The Royal Belgian Football Association is the governing body of football in Belgium. It was a founding member of FIFA in 1904 and UEFA in 1954 and is based in Brussels, not far from the King Baudouin Stadium. Its chairman is Gérard Linard.
Marc Robert Wilmots is a Belgian international former footballer who is currently the manager of the Iran national football team. During his club career as attacking midfielder, he won trophies with KV Mechelen, Standard Liège and Schalke 04.
Ernst Franz Hermann Happel was an Austrian football player and coach.
This article summarizes the outcomes of all official matches played by the Belgium national football team by opponent and by decade, since they first played in official competitions in 1904.
The Netherlands national football team has represented the Netherlands in international football matches since 1905. The national team is controlled by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB), which is a part of UEFA, and under the jurisdiction of FIFA the governing body for football in the Netherlands. Most of the Netherlands' home matches are played at the Johan Cruyff Arena and the Stadion Feijenoord. The team is colloquially referred to as Het Nederlands Elftal or Oranje, after the House of Orange-Nassau. Like the country itself, the team is sometimes referred to as Holland. The fan club is known as "Het Oranje Legioen".
Axel Laurent Angel Lambert Witsel is a Belgian professional footballer who plays for German club Borussia Dortmund. During his play for the Belgium national team, he came into the first team as a right-winger, and can also play attacking midfielder, though his natural position is as a central midfielder.
Marc Baecke was a Belgian footballer who played as a left back.
Simon Luc Hildebert Mignolet is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Belgian club Club Brugge and the Belgium national team.
Thibaut Nicolas Marc Courtois is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Belgium national team.
Rik De Saedeleer was a Belgian footballer, columnist and television sports commentator.
Georges Quéritet was a Belgian international football player. Having been striker in Royal Football Club de Liège and later in Racing Club de Bruxelles, he also played the first official match of the Belgian national team against France on the 1st of May 1904. The encounter resulted in a 3–3 draw and Quéritet scored twice, from which the first official goal of the Red Devils in the 7th minute.
In the 2010s, the Belgium national football team missed out on both the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, but improved greatly in the next years. They secured qualification for the 2014 World Cup with an impressive unbeaten record, and achieved sixth place at the finals: their second-best result ever at the time. The improved results led to Belgium reaching the top position on the FIFA World Rankings for the first time, in November 2015. They had a setback losing to Wales in the quarter finals at Euro 2016, but improved there play under a new coach, reaching their best result ever at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, ending third.
Belgium have appeared in the finals tournament of the FIFA World Cup on 13 occasions, the first being at the first FIFA World Cup in 1930 where they finished in 11th place. The inaugural FIFA World Cup final was officiated by Belgian referee John Langenus.
This article lists various team and individual football records in relation to the Belgian national football team. The page currently shows the records as of 13 October 2019.
The Low Countries derby, is the name given in football to any match between the Belgian and Dutch national football teams. The countries have a long-standing tradition of rivalry in football, having played over 125 official Derbies so far. Only Austria–Hungary and Argentina–Uruguay have been contested more often. Not only have the Low Countries met 18 times in the framework of major tournaments, they have also played at least 35 friendly cup duels.
This is a list of the Belgium national football team's results from 1901 to the present day that, for various reasons, are not accorded the status of official internationals.
Louis Nicolay was a Belgian sports delegate and one-day (caretaker) manager of the Belgium national football team.
The history of the Belgium national football team officially dates back to their first international in 1904. The Royal Belgian Football Association, which governs the team, co-founded the international governing bodies FIFA and UEFA. As of October 2015, Belgium qualified for 12 FIFA World Cups and 5 UEFA European Championships. In the periods 1920–1938, 1970–2002 and since 2014 Belgium participated in many international tournaments, including three Olympic football tournaments in the 1920s. So far, the national side is considered to have had two golden generations: one in the 1980s and early 1990s, and one since the early 2010s.
The following article is a summary of the 2015–16 football season in Belgium, which is the 113th season of competitive football in the country and runs from July 2015 until June 2016.