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Tournament in review: Belgium - Golden generation fail to live up to the hype

Dean Smith 7 Jul 2016
  • The stage seemed all set for Belgium's golden generation in France this summer
  • De Rode Duivels will have expected to at least overcome Wales in the Quarter Finals

Belgium showed glimpses of their brilliance at this summer's European Championships but ultimately fell short once again when it came to the business end of the tournament. 

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Summary: Golden opportunity missed by 'Golden Generation'

After the group stages were over and done with and Belgium managed to avoid Germany, France, England, Spain and Italy in their side of the knock-out draw, there was a real feeling that de Rode Duivels had something of a clear run to the final, but instead they fell at the hurdle of a spirited Welsh outfit in the Quarter Finals in Lyon. 

Although Marc Wilmots' men clearly had the quality to go far, they simply couldn't perform against the better sides. That quality was shown in glimpses in the wins over the Republic of Ireland and Hungary, but a lack of togetherness and tactical resilience was their downfall not only in the Quarter Final loss to Wales, but also in the group stage loss to Italy. 

Romelu Lukaku of Belgium scores against the Republic of Ireland (Getty Images)
Best player: Kevin de Bruyne 

Although many of Belgium's stars flattered to deceive, Kevin de Bruyne was a constant threat in the attacking areas of the pitch. Eden Hazard was splendid in the second round victory over Hungary and Romelu Lukaku was the inspiration behind the 3-0 victory over the Republic of Ireland, neither of those players were in top form throughout.

Although de Bruyne may feel he could have done more in the two matches in which the Belgian side were defeated, he can hold his head high after performing very well in all three other games. The queustion is, can the 25 year old now take his form from this tournament into a new season with Manchester City starting in August? 

Worst player: Marouane Fellaini

Does anyone actually like Marouane Fellaini? Whether it's his sometimes overly-aggressive playing style, his reportedly arrogant personality or just his ridiculous hair that annoys you, there always seem to be something. For Belgium fans this summer, the annoyance will have been directed at Fellaini's poor form in his national team's shirt.

Although Fellaini was brought in and out of the team a couple of times, he never really showed any quality on the field and although he can be used effectively as a target from time to time, it seems as though patience has worn thin from supporters of both the Belgian Red Devils and the English Red Devils. 

Where next for Belgium? 

Perhaps a change in management is the only way that Belgium can move forward at this stage. The majority of their so called golden generation still have enough time to make waves on the international stage, but Marc Wilmots doesn't appear to be the man who can galvanise them and he also seems to be tactically naive against well-organised opposition like Wales. 

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Tournament in review: Belgium - Golden generation fail to live up to the hype

Belgium showed glimpses of their brilliance at this summer's European Championships but ultimately fell short once again when it came to the business end of the tournament.

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