Euro 2012 - Meet Belgium's golden generation

Sat, 02 Jun 08:45:00 2012

England's friendly opponents Belgium might have failed to qualify for Euro 2012, but it should be a different story in four years' time.

2012 Belgium - 0

The Belgians boast an exceptional crop of young players who should reach maturity in time for the next European Championship in France.

Belgium's best Euro performance came in 1980 when they reached the final, losing to West Germany.

However, they look equipped to go one better in 2016, with the likes of established Premier League stars Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen and Marouane Fellaini.

They also boast a sizeable Chelsea contingent including new signings Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne, plus Romelu Lukaku and goalkeeper Thibault Courtois.

Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who will play against England at Wembley on Saturday, told The Independent recently:

"We have a really decent team, a really decent squad. The problem for us has been that we've not converted all that talent into results. We should have qualified for the Euros with all the quality we have, but we didn't. However, hopefully we can kick on and make sure we qualify for the World Cup.

"The England game is an important one for us to help prepare for that campaign. We have not managed to qualify for the big tournaments for 10 years, which is disappointing because we should really have done that with the players we have, but things have changed and for the better.

"We have a lot of good, young players right now and that's what football is about."

England's friendly opponents Belgium might have failed to qualify for Euro 2012, but it should be a different story in 2016. - 2

Eurosport

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account