|Maps of .net|
Is Belgium seriously among the European football elite?
Population: 10,449,361 (July 2014 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.05% (2014 est.)
Birth rate: 9.99 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Death rate: 10.76 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Net migration rate: 1.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Present FIFA World Rankings
1. Germany 2. Argentina 3. Netherlands 4. Columbia 5. Belgium
I do not bet but find the analysis gained intellectually interesting.
Favourites to win UEFA EURO 2016
1. Germany 2. Spain 3. France 4. Netherlands 5. Belgium 6. Italy
1. Germany 2. France 3. Spain 4. Belgium 5.Netherlands 6. Italy
July 6, 2014
'Out but not down! Why Belgium could be real contenders for Euro 2016'
'The team labelled as the ‘dark horse’ for the World Cup finally met their match after an eighth minute goal from Arsenal transfer target Gonzola Higuain was enough for Argentina to secure a place in the semi-finals.'
'Despite looking the more likely to score, Belgium lacked the clinical edge to equalise in the 82 minutes that remained. More conspicuous was the lack of contribution from young stars such as Divock Origi, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne. For some its hard to imagine a young team like Belgium progressing so far in the tournament without having made an appearance in a major competition since 2002. Subsequently Belgium were treated with the harsh reality that their team and players needs more experience.'
'So Belgium is clearly a team in transition and by getting to the quarter-finals and pushing one of the tournament favourites to the edge, they leave the tournament after a successful campaign and its something that they can build on for the future. Having progressed further than Spain, Italy and England suggests that this team will soon be considered amongst one of the toughest in Europe – thereby showing real promise for Belgium to win Euro 2016.'
Give Me Sport
Eleven month ago
'Brazil 2014, however, could act as a dress rehearsal for Euro 2016 – don’t be surprised if Belgium are being touted as serious contenders in three years’ time.'
'For a nation populated by just 11 million to produce such a high amount of top players in such a short period of time, the national coaching must be doing something right. Definitely one to watch at Brazil 2014, and if you fancy a cheeky flutter on an outsider for the European Championships in 2016, look no further than Belgium.'
|Belgium scores versus USA, World Cup 2014-CNN|
I will admit right from the start as a sometimes skeptical philosopher, I am wondering if this historically will end up as another example of over-hype.
Portugal was hyped in a similar way for several years a few years ago.
Considering Belgium's relatively moderate population compared to most world football powers, as even the Netherlands has over 16 million as population according to the CIA website; population and population growth are not seemingly major positives for Belgium.
Belgium has never won either major tournament, the FIFA World Cup or the UEFA European Championships for which it can qualify. It did finish fourth in the 1986 FIFA World Cup.
On the other hand, not being a football expert, I must acknowledge the commentators when they opine on the positives of Belgium in the present and future as a club.
It should also be pointed out that Belgium's neighbours Germany (3), France (2) and Netherlands (1) have all won the UEFA European Championship and Germany (4) and France (1) the FIFA World Cup with the Netherlands losing the final three times. Even with only moderate size population, Belgium is in basically in broad terms, in the world centre of football in their part of Western Europe. It would be reasonable to develop into a football elite from that perspective.
Looking at this information as a non-football expert, but educated observer, I reason Belgium will probably begin to challenge the elite national sides of Europe.
But will not win a European Championship or FIFA World Cup.
However it would be rather interesting to see if they did because it is extremely difficult for any nation to break into the winners category, consistently, especially.
Colombia is ranked fourth in the FIFA rankings and although they could not defeat Brasil, ranked seventh, in the recent World Cup, they might be the best hope for a rising national team from South America.
|The Peoples Cube|
Note: Uncle Chuck lived in Belgium...
Pope Chuckles plays goalkeeper here in East Maple Ridge football with ball hockey nets. His alternate goalkeeper is a garbage can with a lid...
I think we play tonight again.
For someone that never played organized football/soccer my shot is getting pretty hard and more accurate. I am beginning to scare people. I was pretty mediocre when we started a few years ago.
Pace is still not my best quality.
Perhaps martial arts and ball hockey muscle is finally transferring to football muscle in regard to the shot?
I could however, play well at goalkeeper from the start. Of course it helps that I am pretty large and muscular and that we play in ball hockey nets.
What a wood smell...