Gracie, Pelle! This is about how Italy has thrown Belgium from the heaven to the earth


If you ask any Belgian who is interested in football even a little bit, why is his national team such great he will tell a long story with mentioning not very famous names in the world-Mishel Sablon and Bob Broyvas.

In 1998 the national team of Belgium didn’t manage to leave the group at the World Championship having allowed the national teams of Netherlands and Mexico be ahead. Just after the tournament the coach of youth national teams Michel Sablon with the other coach Bob Broyvas started to work out detailed plan on developing the football in the country bearing in mind all possible nuances. They have been studying for a lot time the methods of working in Netherlands and France, they have visited ” Ajax” and “Barcelona” with the purpose of sharing the experience. As we have now, that time Belgian youth teams considered the result to be on the first place and revolution that was orginized by Broyvas and Sablon has changed everything. The second step that was made to rise the level of football in the country was the development of infrastructure. A lot of clubs understood that to be for young football player the springboard is very profitable and prestigious thing and as a result almost all teams of higher league have invested huge sums of money into development of their academies that has already brought profit.

In details about the development of football in Belgium you can read in this interesting article.

The mathematics of “devils”. The way Belgium became the first in the top list of FIFA

Let us focus on present national team of Belgium. Mark Wilmots who was playing in 1998 with the national team headed by Sablon is now the chief coach and he had brought to France the players who were trained according to new rules. The names of current stars of “red devils” there is no need to mention-a lot of them are world accepted football stars and the national team of Belgium is considered to be the shadow favourite of Euro. During the last international forum in Brazil Azar and company didn’t impress anyone by their game. Of course 1/4 is a great result but all understood that the team is capable of something great. And the Belgians were to prove this statement here and now.

Why will the national team of Belgium win the World Championship?

The different position has the national team of Italy that due to considerations of bookmakers had to become the main rival of the Belgians for leaving the group from the first place. “Gold” generation “skuadra adzurra” has been drinking the vine gathered from own grapefields or has been entertaining the American audience for a long time already. Antonio Conte has no realy genius football players and the injuries of key midfielders-Marko Veratti and Claudio Markizio- had worsen the situation.
So at the stadium “Stad de Lumier” in Lion the young and hungry band in red uniform has come and to fight with it was the destiny of famous but having lost its glory national team that wanted to prove that the gold times of Italian football have gone but still there are a lot of high level players.

Despite all pre match calculations Italian national team didn’t start to play close to its gates having created attacks by the wings.The Belgians didn’t force the events and were trying to play in the center of the field. By 15 minute “red devils” had overcought the initiative.

Belgian dandelions Witsel and Fellaini together with brutal Nainggollan seemed to play well and were keeping the ball in the center of the field but amazing pass of Leonardo Bonucci from his half of the field has changed everything.

Alderweireld had lost his position and let Ciaccherini behind his back and he with cat-like grace has played very complicated ball and had thrown it near Thibout Courtois calming the “red devils”. This is Giaccherini about whom “Championship” had released the atricle just before few hours the match begins. That was the article that illustrated the player as the face of national team of Italy.

Ball of Mercury. The man who is the national team of Italy.

More than this Italians had several chances to double the advantage – firstly Courtois has kicked off the ball of Candreva and then some centimetres had separated the ball from the gates after the kick that was done by his head Graziano Pelle. Such game became unexpected even for Claudio Conte who was sitting at the sideline and was actively cheering his team and was trying to stop the blood from the nose using the towel.

Having suffered the shock, Belgians again had taken the game in their hands but nothing impressive wasn’t done at the gates of Buffon.

According to the results of the first time the national team of Belgium was facing a lot of questions. Having such masters of the pass as Azar, De Bruyne and Witsel the team was not able to lead the ball to Romelu Lukaku. Italian defencemen without any problems have taken the air and were covering all attacks that were getting to the gates. Mark Wilmots definitely had themes to think about during the break.

But after the break nothig special has changed. The Belgians who were sure of their superity continued to joke at the beginning of the second half. Vertongen tried to call to the senses of his partners by very loud screams and very soon it had worked. The Italian defence for the whole match has made only one positional mistake: De Bruyne at last demonstrated his skills by connecting Lukaku and Buffon. But Romelu was not able to direct the ball into the gates.

“Skuadra adzurra” answered with the attack- Pelle was stronger than his rival at the second floor and he kicked at the nearest corner but Thibout Courtois by his fantastic jump has eliminated the danger. After this the team of Wilmots had taken the ball under its control and had pushed Italians to the gates. Azar tried to take the play but the destiny of terrible season in “Chelsea” continued to haunt the Belgian star. By the end of the match positional attacks of the team in red became numerous. Origi who displaced Lukaku after the pass made by De Bruyne from several metres was not able to hit the gates. Italy tried to play at spare areas that were left by the rivals behind and by the end of the meeting only phenomenal reaction of Courtois had saved the Belgians from the second goal made by Immobile. But only for some time.
The star Belgian attack was fighting a wall trying to break down the defence of “skuadra adzurra” but “devils” were defeated by brave Italians. More than that during the third added minute Buffon was playing at the rivals’ half of the field – the former brick layer Pelle afrer perfectly played contra attack has scored the goal making all itallians crazy of happiness.

The long-term work of Belgian system doesn’t bring any profit at the international level. Mark Wilmots has a lot to think about …

Read also: Why doesn’t Buffon’s greatness depend on the Champions League?

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