The famous “golden generation of Belgian football” has ended without a title, staying close to fighting for it in a final at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and in the last League of Nations. They lacked that last step, but in the Qatar 2022 World Cup the failure has been resounding as they were eliminated in the group stage (it was not enough for them to draw 0-0 this Thursday with the Croats). In the F key, Morocco and Croatia advanced as first and second, in that order.
Failure of the Belgian team in the 2022 World Cup by being eliminated in the group stage
Belgium is one of the disappointments of the tournament and their farewell, in a cruel way, puts an end to their generation in which there was great hope of success. The downturn represents the general fall of a Belgium that has seen the end of an era in Qatar. Jan Vertonghen (35 years old), Dries Mertens (35), Axel Witsel (33), Toby Alderweireld (33), Eden Hazard (31) and Kevin De Bruyne (31) aim to have played their last World Cup with the Red Devils’ – perhaps the last two can reach the Eurocup in Germany 2024- after having led a supposed golden generation that did not shine.
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‘The real reason’
But beyond the football ones, there were undeniable internal problems that affected Belgium’s performance. ‘The real reason why Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois don’t speak to each other’, headlined the newspaper Sports world, from Barcelona, to a note in which, 48 hours before the elimination, he details the troubles of the selection. He added, “Despite knowing each other for many years, they are currently not related.”
Also ACE He referred to the bad internal environment. “Belgium is a powder keg before playing (against Croatia) its future in the World Cup. After the tension reflected by his players among themselves in statements and even in public, for example between Alderweireld and De Bruyne, L’Equipe (from Paris) publishes that the footballers and the coaching staff met urgently at their place of concentration to say things to each other’s faces,” said the Madrid newspaper.
For Sports world Skirt troubles marked the fate of Belgium in Qatar. “Due to the lousy level of the Belgian team at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, certain scuffles between some teammates have come to light. One of them is the one starring Kevin De Bruyne and the goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who have not exchanged a word for years due to an incident”.
What is the cause of the distancing that affected the rest of the group? The Catalan media outlet explains it this way: “The players have known each other since they were very young, because they started in the world of football at the same time. They met at Chelsea and the two stars were called up with their selection. Their relationship at that stage was very good but it was marked by a woman.
The story continues: “It all goes back to 2013, when Caroline Lijnen, Kevin De Bruyne’s partner at the time, traveled to Madrid with some friends to disconnect. There she met Courtois, since at that time he was a member of the ranks of Atlético de Madrid. The young woman stayed with the goalkeeper since she knew him because he was a friend of the midfielder and she had a parallel relationship with him. Since Kevin found out about the infidelity of his girl with his friend and his teammate, the relationship between the two is almost nil since De Bruyne is very hurt and disappointed by the betrayal of Thibaut Courtois ”.
“High tension in Belgium”, anticipated ACE and the prediction came true with the elimination of Belgium this Thursday. The newspaper reports that there were attempts to pacify, but there was no solution, despite statements that spoke of normalcy within the delegation.
“Romelu Lukaku was in charge of mediating between everyone and trying to mend the broken relationships in the squad. It was not an easy task. The Belgian media remember that there are some differences in the dressing room that seem insurmountable. Lukaku himself and Batshuayi don’t get along, Hazard and Trossard don’t get along either, not even De Bruyne and Courtois, two of the team’s superstars. All this has led to a tension that goes beyond the locker room and leaves scenes like the discussion between De Bruyne and Alderweireld on the pitch on the day of their debut against Canada ”, he says in his note in ACE Aritz Gabilondo.
Not only the mess of skirts spoiled the coexistence of the group, affirms the Madrid newspaper. There was more. “The end of the Belgian gold generation has been particularly hard. Some players like Hazard and De Bruyne have arrived in very bad shape, others like Courtois have taken center stage too much and that has generated misgivings, in addition to the fact that Lukaku was unable to play until the last minutes of the duel against Morocco due to an untimely injury. Too much tension to perform on the pitch”. (D)