Following a draw with Croatia that dropped Belgium to third place in Group F and eliminated them from the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022, Eden Hazard announced his retirement from international football.
Is this just for the Belgian Golden Generation? Other than that, shortly after the World Cup started, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, and Jan Vertoghen got into a fight in the locker room after their team’s two-point loss to Morocco. Belgium’s World Cup performance wasn’t the finest and got off to a bad start.
Before the World Cup 2022 began, Kevin De Bruyne told the Guardian that despite being ranked second globally by FIFA, Belgium would not be able to win the tournament. He continued by saying that we squandered a great opportunity to win the 2018 World Cup. The team is still powerful despite the fact that many players retired after 2018 and were replaced by some newcomers. The team from 2018 was superior, stronger, and more skilled.
For Belgium’s so-called “Golden Generation,” this is not their first setback. The team hasn’t performed as expected during the past ten years, which was to consistently rank in the top five in the FIFA rankings. And now it appears like this Generation is coming to the end of an era.
The 2014 World Cup quarterfinal loss of Belgium to Argentina served as the catalyst for the entire situation. And another loss to France in the World Cup 2018 Semifinals. and losing in the quarterfinals of the 2020 and 2016 European Championships. As a result, the Belgium team was classified as underachieving.
The majority of the team’s players are in their 30s, including De Bruyne, Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Alex Witsel, and Dries Mertens, and they will retire prior to the 2026 World Cup. Those who joined after 2018, including Lois Openda, Charles De Ketelaere and Amadou Onana are emerging talents and still have a long way to go, but the question is whether they will be able to improve and maintain their top FIFA ranking.
The fact that the older players are ageing and the younger players are less skilled than the older players is the main factor in Belgium losing its “Golden Generation” reputation. The veteran players contributed to the majority of the team’s victories. Additionally, because the majority of them are in their 30s, it is challenging for them to continue the sport with the same vigor and speed. And as a result of the team’s internal problems, the situation has gotten worse and the team’s performance has declined.
CURRENT SQUAD OF BELGIUM TEAM
Kevin De Bruyne
Therefore, as a result of all of this, Belgium’s “Golden Generation” will fragment in some way. The Red Devils only scored one goal against Canada before dropping their other matches or settling for draws. There was constant arguing among the players, which made it difficult to keep the team together and get things moving. We can only hope that the situation has already changed.