Belgium Earns Its Best World Cup Finish, Beating England for Third Place

Belgium managed to earn their best ever finish in a World Cup after beating England 2-0 in the third-place playoff in St. Petersburg and that is very ‘satisfying’ to coach Roberto Martinez.

Before this, Belgium’s best finish in a World Cup was in 1986, when they finished fourth in Mexico. That has been the benchmark in Belgium’s football history and the Jan Ceulemans-led team is termed as the ‘golden generation’ of Belgium football. But Eden Hazard’s side exceeded the fourth-place finish and that satisfies the Spaniard.

“The generation of ’86 in Mexico were always an inspiration and set a vision for all football in Belgium, and now this group of players have exceeded that, and that’s historic. It’s taken 32 years to be in this position and that gives a real sense of satisfaction,” Martinez said.

“It is the manner in which we achieved it. The way we played with our brand of Belgian football, the togetherness and the flexibility we had showed tactically. It’s been a really successful journey, but in football you need to look forward and look to improve with the next opportunity we have,” he added.