Belgium are not going to win the World Cup in Brazil, but they are going to progress far. That’s the verdict of many football fans.
And it is not hard to see why. The Red Devils have a truly talented squad comprised of experienced and young players. There are also some world-class stars and a number of youngsters who are hungry for success.
Marc Wilmots’ side have quality all over the pitch. Thibaut Courtois is arguably the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment, Thomas Vermaelen and Vincent Kompany are top-class central defenders, Eden Hazard is a gem of a winger, Adnan Januzaj is one of the most promising teenagers in Europe and Romelu Lukaku has been superb over the past two seasons in the Premier League.
There are doubts on whether Belgium have the strength in depth and on the form of some of their players (for example, Marouane Fellaini), but the European nation will be one of the teams to watch in Brazil.
But is it all talent that makes the Belgium national team tick? According to captain Kompany, there is an enviable bond among the players, and it is the understanding they have with each other that makes them so special.
In fact, the Manchester City skipper goes as far as to claim that there are very few national teams who have the same level of "brotherhood" as the Belgians do.
‘There are many countries who can only dream of this kind of brotherhood that we have among us’, the 28-year-old told The Guardian. ‘The division before was mainly based on age. It was a conflict of generations, a conflict of the way we are now versus the way they were before.
‘We all grew up together through the ranks and we are really friends. I get on with anyone in my team and I am really happy when I play with them. People around see this, it is still a symbol for the country. So whenever we do well, when we are in a positive light it does make people join our movement’.
Kompany and his Belgian teammates enjoy playing with each other, and that is key to their success. Football is about enjoying and should not become a burden.
Belgium have been drawn against Algeria, Russia and South Korea in Group H and are expected to win the group. Whether they can go beyond the last-16 stage remains to be seen.