2018: a year of Belgian football
2018 has been a very rich year in terms of football in Belgium and in Brussels. Here you can have an insight of the main events.
Red devils (almost) at the top.
It is not possible to talk about Belgian football without mentioning the 2018 World Cup.
The last World Cup in Russia showed that the Red devils were part of the best nations in the world. After the Belgian national team easily made it through the first round, the game vs. Japan (Round of 16) was a crazy one.
But the quarter-final, Belgium against Brazil, was definitely the most successful one for Belgium. The Red devils defeated the Seleçao (2-1), which gave them hope ahead of the semi-finals vs. France.
The Hazard’s mates however lost 1-0 vs. the future winner of the World Cup. Although this game was a very big deal for the Belgian people, the party held in Brussels when the Red devils came back home, on 15 July, was a good example both of their performance and of the Belgian pride.
The 3rd place was a clear evidence that Belgium is part of the best teams in the world.
… but let’s have a look at 2020
The World Cup was however not the end of the story. Few weeks after the worldwide competition was over, the Red devils were already involved in the 2018 UEFA Nations League (first edition).
While the Red devils were supposed to get qualified after their four games vs. Switzerland and Iceland, the story was a bit different.
Their last game was against Switzerland in Luzern. In the absence of a winner, Belgium would have been qualified for the semi-finals.
Although the Red devils quickly scored twice, Shaqiri’s mates scored 5 times in a row and took Belgium out of the competition.
As a consequence of this defeat, the Red devils will have to play and win several games over the upcoming months to hope to be qualified for the next 2020 UEFA Euro Cup.
Anderlecht: a disappointing year
While 2018 was a very good year for Belgian football, the outcomes have been completely different for Anderlecht, the best Brusselian team.
At the end of the 2017/2018 season, Anderlecht FC won no title. First of all, the team was kicked out of the Belgian Cup 2017/2018 in November 2017, vs Standard de Liège, the historical rival.
Then, Anderlecht F.C. only achieved to get the 3rd place in the 2017/2018 Belgian championship. As a quick reminder, Anderlecht F.C. was champion in 2017.
The plan was then to be more successful this year. So far it seems like the plan hasn’t been working. The team was eliminated from the 2018/2019 Europa League in the first round.
When it comes to the championship, Anderlecht F.C. is only 5th today.
The high-level staff is also looking for a new coach, after they have decided to fire Hein Vanhaezebrouck earlier this month.
As an example of the low-performance of the Brussels team, it’s also worth highlighting the game vs. Union Saint-Gilloise in the Belgian Cup in September.
Union Saint-Gilloise: here we go!
In case you’re not aware, Brussels has another famous football team: Union Saint-Gilloise. The club, which is supported by many Brusselians, is today in second division.
Although its results over the last years have not been incredible, the USG supporters will remember for a while the game vs. Anderlecht last September.
Until that game happened, USG had not defeated Anderlecht in the Astrid stadium (Anderlecht stadium) for almost 50 years. It was worth waiting. USG indeed humiliated Anderlecht 3-0 in the round of 32 of the Belgian Cup. Although it does not put in question the Brusselian football supremacy, this game has been quite a small earthquake in the Belgian football.
The USG adventure still goes on, after the players defeated Genk in quarter finals. They will then play vs. Mechelen in semi-finals on 22 January. Stay tuned…. 🙂