Belgium national football team: Wikis

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Belgium
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Rode Duivels / Diables Rouges
(Red Devils)
Association Belgian Football Association
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Dick Advocaat
Captain Thomas Vermaelen
Most caps Jan Ceulemans (96)
Top scorer Bernard Voorhoof (30),
Paul van Himst (30)
Home stadium King Baudouin Stadium
FIFA code BEL
FIFA ranking 68
Highest FIFA ranking 16 (January 2003)
Lowest FIFA ranking 71 (June 2007)
Elo ranking T 65
Highest Elo ranking 2 (September 1920)
Lowest Elo ranking 74 (September 2009)
Home colours
Away colours
First international
Belgium Belgium 3 - 3 France France
(Brussels, Belgium; 1 May 1904)
Biggest win
Belgium Belgium 9 - 0 Zambia Zambia
(Brussels, Belgium; 4 June 1994)
Belgium Belgium 10 - 1 San Marino San Marino
(Brussels, Belgium; 28 February 2001)
Biggest defeat
England England amateur 11 - 2 Belgium Belgium
(London, England; 17 April 1909)
World Cup
Appearances 11 (First in 1930)
Best result Fourth place, 1986
European Championship
Appearances 4 (First in 1972)
Best result Runners-up, 1980

The Belgium national football team is the national football team of Belgium and is controlled by the Belgian Football Association.

Contents

History

Belgium played its first official game on May 1, 1904 in a 3-3 draw against France. Prior to this match, 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.

The team was nicknamed The Red Devils by journalist Pierre Walckiers after its 3:2 victory over Netherlands (Rotterdam, 1906). The nickname stems from the fact that from the beginning and up until recently, the team's primary colours were all red.

Over the next six decades, Belgium established itself as a strong second-tier team, rarely in the running for winning a major tournament but never easy to handle at home or abroad. A key strength of the team was its systematic use of the offside trap, a defensive tactic developed in the 1960s at Anderlecht under French coach Pierre Sinibaldi.

Their 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. The team's rigorous organization was reinforced by several world-class players such as goalkeeper Jean-Marie Pfaff, right-back Eric Gerets, midfielder Jan Ceulemans, and playmaker Enzo Scifo. Performances were sometimes poor against lower-ranked teams, but nearly always inspired against top teams. Until as recently as 2002, world-class national teams did not like the prospect of playing the Red Devils--not even eventual champions Brazil. The Belgians nearly beat favorites Brazil in the 2002 FIFA World Cup only for several debatable referee decisions and controversially disallowed goals go against them; ironically, the Brazilians went on to win the World Cup. Since then, however, the team has steadily slipped down the rankings, and has not been able to extend its past reputation.

After failing to qualify for the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1978, the contract of national coach Aimé Anthuenis was not renewed beyond 2005, and it was decided on December 22, 2005 that René Vandereycken would replace Anthuenis on January 1, 2006. But the performances of the team did not improve and the Red Devils slipped into an all-time low 71st position in the FIFA World Rankings in June, 2007. After failing to qualify for Euro 2008 and a generally poor performance in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers which ended with Belgium getting knocked out, coach René Vandereycken was sacked on the 7 April 2009. After a shocking 2-1 loss against Armenia on 9 September 2009, Vercauteren resigned earlier than planned and made way for new coach Dick Advocaat.

World Cup record

Belgium's World Cup appearance record reflects the unusual depth of footballing talent for a country of this size, in the manner of the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Sweden. The country qualified for six successive World Cups from 1982 through 2002. Every other nation with an equal or longer string of appearances has had the streak "interrupted" by automatic qualification as the host or the defending champion. (The 2006 tournament was the first for which the defending champion did not automatically qualify.)

The Belgian team reached the knockout phase five out of six times from 1982 to 2002, including a streak of four tournaments. One of their most famous victories was a 1-0 win over defending champions Argentina, in the first game of the 1982 World Cup held at Camp Nou with a great goal by Erwin Vandenbergh.

Four years later they achieved their best-ever World Cup run in 1986 when they placed fourth under command of players like Jan Ceulemans, Eric Gerets and Jean-Marie Pfaff. Belgium surprisingly won against favourites Soviet-Union with stars such as Igor Belanov and Rinat Dasayev (3-4) after extra time. Belgium also beat Spain on penalties, but they lost to eventual champions Argentina in the semifinal (0-2). In the third-place match Belgium lost to France (2-4) after extra time. Captain and midfielder Jan Ceulemans was the first Belgian player to be selected in the All-Star Team of a World Cup. Enzo Scifo was elected as best young player of the tournament.

Despite being knocked out in the second round, the team's general performance in the 1990 was considered better still than that of 1986. Belgium dominated England, but eventually lost in the last minute of extra time after a goal by David Platt. Enzo Scifo was elected as second best player of the 1990 World Cup after Lothar Matthäus.

In the 1994 World Cup Belgium lost to title defenders Germany in round 2. This match became most memorable because of a disputed decision by referee Kurt Röthlisberger. The team was not awarded a penalty when Josip Weber was tripped inside the penalty area. Michel Preud'homme was elected as best goalkeeper of the tournament and he was selected in the All-Star Team.

In 1998 Belgium was one of only two teams, together with world champion France not to lose a single game. Three draws in the first round - against Netherlands, Mexico and South Korea - proved not enough to reach the knock-out stage. In 1998 Enzo Scifo and Franky Van Der Elst appeared in their fourth World Cups, setting a Belgian record.

The FIFA World Cup 2002 did not start well for Belgium, but the team improved during the tournament. Captain Marc Wilmots was notable for scoring in every match of the first round. In the second round they had to play against eventual champions Brazil. Similar to 1994, the outcome of the match was strongly influenced by a disputed referee decision. To the surprise of the Brazilians themselves, referee Peter Prendergast cancelled a valid goal by Marc Wilmots that would have given Belgium a 1-0 lead. After this, the match went in favour of Brazil. Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari would declare after the tournament that the match against the Red Devils had been the hardest for Brazil to win. The team did win the tournament's fair-play award. Marc Wilmots equalled the record of Enzo Scifo and Franky Van Der Elst by appearing in 4 World Cup squads, although he didn't play in his first World Cup in 1990. Wilmots also scored his 5th World Cup goal against Russia, which made him Belgium's top scorer in World Cup Finals matches.

Year Round GP W D* L GS GA
Uruguay 1930 Round 1 2 0 0 2 0 4
Italy 1934 Round 1 1 0 0 1 2 5
France 1938 Round 1 1 0 0 1 1 3
Brazil 1950 Withdrew
Switzerland 1954 Round 1 2 0 1 1 5 8
Sweden 1958 Did not qualify
Chile 1962
England 1966
Mexico 1970 Round 1 3 1 0 2 4 5
West Germany 1974 Did not qualify
Argentina 1978
Spain 1982 Round 2 5 2 1 2 3 5
Mexico 1986 Fourth place 7 2 2 3 12 15
Italy 1990 Round 2 4 2 0 2 6 4
United States 1994 Round 2 4 2 0 2 4 4
France 1998 Round 1 3 0 3 0 3 3
South Korea Japan 2002 Round 2 4 1 2 1 6 7
Germany 2006 Did not qualify
South Africa 2010
Total 11/19 36 10 9 17 46 63

European Championship record

Belgium's performance in the European Championship does not match its World Cup record. The best result is no doubt the unexpected second place at the 1980 edition in Italy after a narrow defeat (1-2) to West Germany in the final. Belgium hosted or co-hosted the event twice, finishing third in 1972 (when they were chosen amongst the four semi-finalists to actually host the event) and being one of the major disappointments of the 2000 edition with a first-round exit. Belgium first won against Sweden 2-1 via goals from Bart Goor in the 43rd minute and Emile Mpenza in the 46th minute against Sweden's one by Johan Mjallby in the 53rd minute after a terrible error of goalkeeper Filip De Wilde. But then, Belgium lost 2-0 against Italy (goals from Francesco Totti in the 5th minute and Stefano Fiore in the 66th minute) and 2-0 against Turkey (two goals from Hakan Şükür in the 45th after another error of goalkeeper Filip De Wilde, and 70th minute). In the 83rd minute of that last group match, Filip De Wilde even ended his Euro 2000, being sent off for attacking Arif Erdem outside the penalty area.

  • 1960 - Did not enter
  • 1964 - Did not qualify
  • 1968 - Did not qualify
  • 1972 - Third place (became host after qualifying)
  • 1976 - Did not qualify
  • 1980 - Runners-up
  • 1984 - Round 1
  • 1988 - Did not qualify
  • 1992 - Did not qualify
  • 1996 - Did not qualify
  • 2000 - Round 1 (entered as host)
  • 2004 - Did not qualify
  • 2008 - Did not qualify
  • 2012 -

Olympic record

Belgium won the Olympic Gold Medal in 1920

Gold Medal winners 1920: -Félix Balyu -Désiré Bastin -Mathieu Bragard -Jean De Bie -Robert Coppée -André Fierens -Emile Hanse -Georges Hebdin-Henri Larnoe -Joseph Musch(c) -Armand Swartenbroeks -Fernand Nisot -Louis Van Hege -Oscar Verbeek. coach: Raoul Daufresne

  • 1920: Gold medal
  • 1924: Second Round (1/16 finals)
  • 1928: Quarter-finals
  • 2008: Fourth Place

Current squad

Caps and goals are correct as of 15 November 2009.

The following players are the 22-man squad who were called up for the friendly matches against Croatia on 3 March 2010.

No. Pos. Player DoB (Age) Caps Goals Club
1 GK Logan Bailly 27 December 1985 3 0 Germany Borussia Mönchengladbach
13 GK Jean-François Gillet 31 May 1979 4 0 Italy Bari
12 DF Toby Alderweireld 2 March 1989 5 0 Netherlands Ajax
2 DF Steve Colpaert 13 September 1986 1 0 Belgium Zulte Waregem
3 DF Vincent Kompany 10 April 1986 30 0 England Manchester City
14 DF Nicolas Lombaerts 20 March 1985 8 0 Russia Zenit Saint Petersburg
DF Daniel Van Buyten (vice-captain) 7 February 1978 55 7 Germany Bayern Munich
4 DF Thomas Vermaelen Captain sports.svg 14 November 1985 26 1 England Arsenal
5 DF Jelle Van Damme 10 October 1983 24 0 Belgium Anderlecht
15 MF Jonathan Blondel 10 August 1984 4 0 Belgium Club Brugge
17 MF Thomas Buffel 19 February 1981 33 6 Belgium Racing Genk
16 MF Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez 1 July 1989 2 0 Belgium Standard Liège
MF Steven Defour Cruz Roja.svg 15 April 1988 23 1 Belgium Standard Liège
MF Karel Geraerts Cruz Roja.svg 5 January 1982 20 4 Belgium Club Brugge
10 MF Maarten Martens 2 July 1984 9 0 Netherlands AZ
6 MF Jan Vertonghen 24 April 1987 21 1 Netherlands Ajax
8 MF Axel Witsel 12 January 1989 11 2 Belgium Standard Liège
11 FW Moussa Dembélé 16 July 1987 26 5 Netherlands AZ
7 FW Eden Hazard 7 January 1991 11 0 France Lille
9 FW Romelu Lukaku 13 May 1993 1 0 Belgium Anderlecht
FW Kevin Mirallas Cruz Roja.svg 5 October 1987 19 4 France Saint-Étienne
18 FW Wesley Sonck 9 August 1978 55 24 Belgium Club Brugge
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Recent call-ups

No. Pos. Player DoB (Age) Caps Goals Club
GK Stijn Stijnen 7 April 1981 30 0 Belgium Club Brugge
DF Landry Mulemo (v. Estonia 15 October 2009) 17 September 1986 0 0 Belgium Standard Liège
2 DF Sepp De Roover Cruz Roja.svg (v. Qatar 17 November 2009) 12 November 1984 2 0 Netherlands Groningen
13 DF Gill Swerts (v. Qatar 17 November 2009) 23 September 1982 14 1 Netherlands AZ
5 DF Olivier Deschacht (v. Qatar 17 November 2009) 16 February 1981 18 0 Belgium Anderlecht
MF Gaby Mudingayi (v. Estonia 15 October 2009) 1 October 1981 15 0 Italy Bologna
10 MF Marouane Fellaini Cruz Roja.svg (v. Qatar 17 November 2009) 22 November 1987 21 3 England Everton
FW Émile Mpenza (v.Estonia 15 October 2009) 4 July 1978 56 19 Switzerland FC Sion
17 FW Tom De Sutter (v. Qatar 17 November 2009) 3 July 1985 14 0 Belgium Anderlecht
FW Igor De Camargo (v. Qatar 17 November 2009) 12 May 1983 4 0 Belgium Standard Liège
13 FW Roland Lamah (v. Qatar 17 November 2009) 31 December 1987 5 0 France Le Mans

Youngest Players

The 10 youngest players in history

The youngest players who made their debut for the national football team of Belgium.

Rank Player (Team) Age
1 Fernand Nisot (Léopold Club) 16 year 19 days
2 Anthony Vanden Borre (RSC Anderlecht) 16 year 187 days
3 Romelu Lukaku (RSC Anderlecht) 16 year 296 days
4 Paul Van Himst (RSC Anderlecht) 17 year 17 days
5 Jean Capelle (Standard Liège) 17 year 153 days
6 Joseph Musch (R. Union Saint-Gilloise) 17 year 198 days
7 Vincent Kompany (RSC Anderlecht) 17 year 314 days
8 Eden Hazard (Lille OSC) 17 year 316 days
9 Raymond Braine (K. Beerschot V.A.C.) 17 year 321 days
10 Bernard Voorhoof (Lierse SK) 17 year 338 days

2010 FIFA World Cup qualification

Team
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Spain 10 10 0 0 28 5 +23 30
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 6 1 3 25 13 +12 19
 Turkey 10 4 3 3 13 10 +3 15
 Belgium 10 3 1 6 13 20 −7 10
 Estonia 10 2 2 6 9 24 −15 8
 Armenia 10 1 1 8 6 22 −16 4
  Armenia Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Estonia Spain Turkey
Armenia  2 – 1 0 – 2 2 – 2 1 – 2 0 – 2
Belgium  2 – 0 2 – 4 3 – 2 1 – 2 2 – 0
Bosnia and Herzegovina  4 – 1 2 – 1 7 – 0 2 – 5 1 – 1
Estonia  1 – 0 2 – 0 0 – 2 0 – 3 0 – 0
Spain  4 – 0 5 – 0 1 – 0 3 – 0 1 – 0
Turkey  2 – 0 1 – 1 2 – 1 4 – 2 1 – 2

Euro 2012 qualifications

Team
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Germany 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 Turkey 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 Austria 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 Belgium 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 Kazakhstan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 Azerbaijan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
  Austria Azerbaijan Belgium Germany Kazakhstan Turkey
Austria 
Azerbaijan 
Belgium 
Germany 
Kazakhstan 
Turkey 

Caps

As of 10 December 2009 the 68 most capped players for Belgium are:

# Player Belgium career Caps
1 Jan Ceulemans 1977-1991 96
2 Eric Gerets 1975-1991 86
= Franky Van der Elst 1984-1998 86
4 Vincenzo Scifo 1984-1999 84
5 Paul Van Himst 1960-1974 81
6 Bart Goor 1999-2008 78
7 Georges Grün 1984-1995 77
8 Timmy Simons* 2001- 74
9 Lorenzo Staelens 1990-2000 70
= Marc Wilmots 1990-2002 70
11 Victor Mees 1949-1960 68
12 Georges Heylens 1961-1973 67
13 Joseph Jurion 1955-1967 64
= Jean-Marie Pfaff 1976-1987 64
15 Franky Vercauteren 1977-1988 63
= Marc Degryse 1984-2002 63
17 Bernard Voorhoof 1928-1940 61
18 Michel Preud'homme 1979-1994 58
19 Eric Deflandre 1996-2005 57
= Emile Mpenza* 1997- 57
= Wilfried Van Moer 1966-1982 57
22 Louis Carré 1948-1958 56
= Joseph Mermans 1945-1956 56
= Mbo Mpenza 1997-2008 56
= Luc Nilis 1988-2000 56
26 Michel Renquin 1976-1987 55
= Daniel Van Buyten* 2001- 55
28 Raymond Braine 1925-1939 54
= Wesley Sonck* 2001- 54
30 Danny Boffin 1989-2002 53
= Armand Swartenbroeks 1913-1928 53
32 René Vandereycken 1975-1986 50
= Gert Verheyen 1994-2002 50
34 Wilfried Puis 1962-1975 49
35 Pierre Hanon 1958-1969 48
= Erwin Vandenbergh 1979-1991 48
= Léopold Anoul 1947-1954 48
= Yves Vanderhaeghe 1999-2005 48
39 Henri 'Rik' Coppens 1949-1959 47
40 Walter Meeuws 1977-1984 46
= Ludo Coeck 1974-1984 46
= Pierre Braine 1922-1930 46
43 François Van der Elst 1973-1983 44
44 Geert De Vlieger 1999-2006 43
45 Michel De Wolf 1980-1994 42
= Nico Van Kerckhoven 1996-2002 42
= Victor Lemberechts 1945-1955 42
48 Philippe Albert 1987-1998 41
= Robert Paverick 1935-1946 41
50 Lei Clijsters 1983-1991 40
= Christian Piot 1969-1977 40
52 Jean Nicolay 1959-1967 39
= Florimond Van Halme 1921-1930 39
54 Philippe Clement 1998-2007 38
= Paul Vandenberg 1957-1967 38
= Alfons Van Brandt 1951-1957 38
= Stéphane Demol 1986-1991 38
58 Marc Emmers 1988-1994 37
= Jean De Bie 1920-1930 37
60 Johan Walem 1991-2002 36
= Glen De Boeck 1993-2004 36
= Nico Claesen 1983-1990 36
= Nicolas Hoydonckx 1928-1933 36
64 Léon Semmeling 1961-1973 35
= Jean Dockx 1967-1975 35
= Julien Cools 1974-1980 35
= Désiré Bastin 1920-1932 35
= Luc Millecamps 1979-1983 35

the * denotes a player still playing or available for selection.

Top Belgium goalscorers

As of December 10, 2009:

# Player Belgium career Goals (Caps)
1 Bernard Voorhoof 1928-1940 30 (61)
= Paul van Himst 1960-1974 30 (81)
3 Marc Wilmots 1990-2002 28 (70)
4 Joseph Mermans 1945-1956 27 (56)
5 Robert de Veen 1906-1913 26 (23)
= Raymond Braine 1925-1939 26 (54)
7 Wesley Sonck* 2001- 24 (54)
8 Marc Degryse 1984-1996 23 (63)
= Jan Ceulemans 1976-1991 23 (96)
10 Henri 'Rik' Coppens 1949-1959 21 (47)
11 Léopold Anoul 1947-1954 20 (48)
= Erwin Vandenbergh 1979-1991 20 (48)
13 Jean Capelle 1931-1939 19 (34)
= Emile Mpenza* 1997- 19 (57)
15 Raoul Lambert 1966-1977 18 (33)
= Vincenzo Scifo 1984-1998 18 (84)
17 Paul Vandenberg 1957-1967 16 (38)
18 Johan Devrindt 1964-1975 15 (23)
19 Victor Lemberechts 1945-1955 14 (42)
= François van der Elst 1973-1983 14 (44)
21 Jacques Stockman 1958-1967 13 (32)
= Bart Goor* 1999- 13 (78)
23 Nico Claesen 1983-1990 12 (36)
24 Henri Larnoe 1920-1925 11 (22)
25 Fernand Nisot 1911-1920 10 (14)
= Odilon Polleunis 1968-1975 10 (22)
= Gert Verheyen 1994-2002 10 (50)
= Luc Nilis 1988-2000 10 (56)
29 Albert de Cleyn 1946-1948 9 (12)
= Robert Coppée 1919-1924 9 (15)
= Marc van der Linden 1983-1990 9 (19)
= Ferdinand Adams 1924-1930 9 (23)
= Louis Saeys 1907-1914 9 (24)
= Stanley Vanden Eynde 1931-1938 9 (26)
= Wilfried Puis 1962-1975 9 (49)
= Wilfried van Moer 1966-1982 9 (57)
= Franky Vercauteren 1977-1989 9 (63)
= Joseph Jurion 1955-1967 9 (64)
39 Alphonse Six 1910-1912 8 (9)
= Sylvian Brebart 1912-1914 8 (12)
= Henri Isemborghs 1935-1939 8 (16)
= Frédéric Chaves d'Aguilar 1946-1951 8 (20)
= Maurice Gillis 1922-1928 8 (23)
= Louis Versyp 1928-1936 8 (34)
= Lorenzo Staelens 1989-2000 8 (70)

the * denotes a player still playing or available for selection.

Coaches

Before 1910, a committee of the Belgian federation selected the players.

Captains

# Name Performances as captain
1. Jan Ceulemans 51
2. Jef Jurion 40
3. Paul van Himst 37
=. Armand Swartenbroeks 37
5. Jef Mermans 30
6. Georges Grün 24
7. Marc Wilmots 23
8. Eric Gerets 22
9. Julien Cools 20
10. Lorenzo Staelens 19
11. Thomas Vermaelen 1
Timmy Simons ?
Franky van der Elst ?
Enzo Scifo ?
Bernard Voorhoof ?
Wilfried van Moer ?
Bart Goor ?
Joseph Musch ?
Vic Mees ?
Christian Piot ?
Eric Deflandre ?
Marc Degryse ?
Emile Mpenza ?
Mbo Mpenza ?
Pierre Braine ?
Léopold Anoul ?
... ?

See also

External links


Simple English

Belgium
Association Belgian Football Association
Confederation UEFA
Coach René Vandereycken
Most caps Jan Ceulemans (96)
Top scorer Paul Van Himst, Bernard Voorhoof (30)
World Cup
Appearances 11
First Apps 1930
Best result 4th (1986)

Belgium national football team is the national football team of Belgium.

Most appearances

PosPlayerAppsGoalsCareer
1Jan Ceulemans96231976-1991
2Eric Gerets861975-1991
2Franky Van Der Elst861984-1998
4Vincenzo Scifo84181984-1998
5Paul Van Himst81301960-1974
6Bart Goor77131999-present
6Georges Grün771984-1995
8Marc Wilmots70281990-2002
8Lorenzo Staelens7081989-2000
10Victor Mees681949-1960

Top scorers

PosPlayerGoalsAppsCareer
1Paul Van Himst30811960-1974
1Bernard Voorhoof30611928-1940
3Marc Wilmots28701990-2002
4Joseph Mermans27561945-1956
5Raymond Braine26541925-1939
5Robert De Veen26231906-1913
7Jan Ceulemans23961976-1991
7Marc Degryse23631984-1996
9Wesley Sonck22472001-present
10Henri Coppens21471949-1959

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