UEFA Euro 2024: Why you should be excited about Belgium

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UEFA Euro 2024: Why you should be excited about Belgium

Pulse Sports • 21:00 - 10.06.2024

This is why you should be excited about Belgium at UEFA Euro 2024.

Belgium will be going to Euro 2024 as a side in transition from the golden generation of players who never managed to win anything to the budding new crop of players still finding their way around how international football works.

After two-back-to-back quater final exits, they have one target - to better their status at the European championships as much as possible and win it.

Here is everything you need to know about the team ahead of the tournament.

The manager

Domenico Tedesco has taken the reins of the Belgian national team following the tenures of Marc Wilmots and Roberto Martinez, both of whom failed to secure major silverware despite the talent of Belgium's golden generation.

 Appointed in February 2023, Tedesco has yet to taste defeat, typically setting up his team in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation. His coaching career began at a young age, with significant spells at FC Erzgebirge Aue, Schalke, Spartak Moscow, and RB Leipzig, where he won the German Cup.

Despite his success, Tedesco's stints have been relatively short, with a major challenge now lying ahead: transitioning Belgium's squad from the aging stars of the golden generation to a younger, dynamic team. Notably, he has already made significant changes, including the controversial decision to exclude Thibaut Courtois following a fallout over captaincy issues.

Player to watch -Johan Bakayoko

One standout talent in Tedesco's revamped squad is Johan Bakayoko.

 The 21-year-old PSV winger has shown immense potential with his athleticism, direct dribbling, and ability to link play in tight areas. 

Bakayoko's rapid development saw him turn down a £30 million move to Nottingham Forest, opting instead to mature further at PSV. 

His ambition is clear, with aspirations of winning the Ballon d'Or in the next five years. With 11 caps already, he is poised to become a leading player in Europe.


Tedesco's team boasts a versatile midfield and a potent attack. Everton's Amadou Onana and Lyon's Orel Mangala provide a sturdy midfield base, with Kevin De Bruyne playing as the No. 10. 

The wings are electrified by Jeremy Doku and Johan Bakayoko, capable of dismantling defenses with their pace and skill.

Charles De Ketelaere of Atalanta offers another creative option, while Leandro Trossard provides versatility across the forward line. 

Romelu Lukaku remains a formidable striker with 83 goals in 114 caps, backed by RB Leipzig's Lois Openda, who scored 24 goals in the Bundesliga last season.


The defense remains a concern with the retirements of Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen. 

Jan Vertonghen, at 36, is the sole veteran in the backline, raising questions about his partnership with Leicester's Wout Faes. The pair's ability to handle top-tier opposition is uncertain, given their lack of pace for a high defensive line.

The right-back position is solid with Timothy Castagne, but Tedesco has had to be creative on the left, using Rennes' Arthur Theate in a hybrid role.

The lack of depth is evident, highlighted by the recall of Axel Witsel from retirement, despite him now playing as a center-back at Atletico Madrid.

Language barrier

Belgium's diverse linguistic landscape—French, Flemish, and German—poses communication challenges. 

The team has adopted English as their universal language, facilitating better cohesion. Most players, having exposure to international leagues, are already proficient in English, making it an effective choice.


Ranked third in the world by FIFA, Belgium is a consistent top contender but has often underperformed in major tournaments.

 With a favorable group featuring Slovakia, Romania, and Ukraine, expectations are high for Belgium to progress. However, the true test will be whether Tedesco's new-look squad can surpass the achievements of their predecessors.


Goalkeepers: Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg), Thomas Kaminski (Luton), Matz Sels (Nottingham Forest)

Defenders: Timothy Castagne (Fulham), Maxim De Cuyper (Club Bruges), Zeno Debast (Anderlecht), Wout Faes (Leicester), Thomas Meunier (Trabzonspor), Jan Vertonghen (Anderlecht), Arthur Theate (Rennes), Axel Witsel (Atletico Madrid)

Midfielders: Yannick Carrasco (Al Shabab), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Orel Mangala (Lyon), Amadou Onana (Everton), Youri Tielemans (Aston Villa), Arthur Vermeeren (Atletico Madrid), Aster Vranckx (Wolfsburg), Arne Engels (Augsburg), Mandela Keita (Antwerp)

Forwards: Johan Bakayoko (PSV), Charles De Ketelaere (Atalanta), Jeremy Doku (Manchester City), Romelu Lukaku (Roma), Dodi Lukebakio (Sevilla), Lois Openda (RB Leipzig), Leandro Trossard (Arsenal)

With a blend of seasoned professionals and emerging talents, Belgium aims to finally end their trophy drought at Euro 2024. The group stage will serve as a litmus test for Tedesco's tactical acumen and the squad's readiness to challenge Europe's elite.