Fiji Time: 1:13 PM on Monday 2 February

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

Belgium ready for battle

Afp
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

BRUSSELS - A few years ago the notion of Belgium as fifth favourites to win a World Cup ahead of France, Italy and England would have seemed ludicrous even to the country's most ardent supporters.

Just making the World Cup finals proved beyond the Red Devils in 2006 and 2010, their last appearance coming back in 2002 when they lost to eventual winners Brazil in the last 16.

Yet here they are, bags packed for Brazil with 'dark horses' firmly stamped on their passports and only the hosts, Argentina, Germany and Spain above them in the betting.

Coach Marc Wilmots' talented squad sailed through their qualifying group unbeaten, barely putting a foot wrong against Croatia, Serbia and Scotland.

They sealed their berth to Brazil with a game to spare in Zagreb, Romelu Lukaku's double doing the damage. They start in Group H against Algeria, Russia and South Korea.

Star players like Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Wolfsburg's Kevin de Bruyne, Lukaku (loaned by Chelsea to Everton), Manchester City's Vincent Kompany and Lukaku's Everton teammate Kevin Mirallas ply their trade in Europe's main leagues.

And that presence beyond Belgium's borders according to veteran central defender Daniel van Buyten is one of the reasons for Belgium's soccer renaissance.





Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Shattered
  2. Come forward
  3. Fake tabua nothing new, says Ratu Orisi
  4. Amnesty period
  5. Hidden Paradise burst into hive of activities
  6. The value of television exclusivity deals
  7. Programs to empower farmers
  8. Fight against dengue on
  9. $1m to help firefighters
  10. Raise more awareness

Top Stories this Week

  1. Killer on the loose Friday (30 Jan)
  2. Who let our boy go swimming Thursday (29 Jan)
  3. Wife tells of sorrow Saturday (31 Jan)
  4. Fake tabua inquiry Thursday (29 Jan)
  5. Old market to turn into live fish shop Tuesday (27 Jan)
  6. FRCA terminates officers Tuesday (27 Jan)
  7. Community in shock Friday (30 Jan)
  8. Tragic end to tour Wednesday (28 Jan)
  9. New-look bus station plans Tuesday (27 Jan)
  10. Woman found Thursday (29 Jan)