World Cup Group F: Belgium face final chance to shake off underachievers tag

Martinez's squad remains stacked with talent but are yet to deliver and win a trophy on the biggest stages

Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne are vital to Belgium's chances at the 2022 World Cup. EPA
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Belgium head into the 2022 World Cup with a final opportunity for success from a golden generation.

The Red Devils are the only side placed inside the top five of the Fifa world rankings to have never won the tournament, and come off a third-placed finish in 2018 after narrowly losing in the semi-finals to France.

That leaves much of the focus on finding a way to navigate the latter stages of the tournament. While Belgium have shown that they can match any side in terms of performances, too often they have lacked that clinical edge when it matters.

Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, always has an eye on the golden boot and he will carry most of Belgium’s goalscoring output with support from Kevin De Bruyne. But with De Bruyne, and Eden Hazard, both now 31 years old, there is a feeling that it could be all or nothing for Roberto Martinez’s side in Qatar.

Having endured a slow start to their Nations League campaign, which began with a 4-1 defeat at home against the Netherlands, Belgium will hope to find better form before they make the trip to Qatar, though question marks over their defence will remain as they continue to look for the next generation of Belgian stars.

Belgium's Road to Qatar

Manager: Roberto Martinez

Star Player: Kevin De Bruyne

One to watch: Romelu Lukaku

World Cup finals appeared in: 1930, 1934, 1938, 1954, 1970, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2014, 2018

Fixtures: Nov 23 - Belgium v Canada / Nov 27 - Belgium v Morocco / Dec 1 - Croatia v Belgium

Updated: September 28, 2022, 8:41 AM