In a little under three weeks from now, Belgium will face England in the final group game in Group G at the 2018 World Cup. By then, we should have a pretty good idea whether either of those two teams will live up to their usual pre-tournament levels of hype, especially as far as the former’s concerned.
The current England squad is very young and still in process of growing up to their full potential, but for Belgium, this is probably their prime window of opportunity. The likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois, etc. are all in their mid-to-late 20s. If there ever was a time for this Golden Generation to show what they can do, this is it.
Captain Eden agrees.
“We know what we are. We are good players, we all play in the big games in England, in Italy and in Spain.
”Ten years or 15 years ago, you had this ‘Golden Generation’ in England but you won nothing. Now I think the fans, journalists, all of Belgium, the country just wants to win something. We have a ‘Golden Generation’ - we just want to win something now. Can we be different to England? Maybe, maybe, we will see.”
-Eden Hazard; source: Sky Sports
It’s the England comparison that’s making the headlines, but Hazard is undoubtedly just answering the question the way it was phrased. Painful memories for England aside, Belgium’s time in now.
Will they be like most Golden Generations and amount to nothing much more than perennial hype and expectation? Or will they actually live up to their billing? The confidence, the fitness, the desire all seem to be in the right place, but winning is never easy, especially at the World Cup...