World Cup 2018 - the press heap praise upon the Red Devils for uniting Belgium as a nation

Wednesday, 11 July 2018 14:24
The media's praise for Belgium's performance, including the team, their coach and all involved knows no bounds today. The media's praise for Belgium's performance, including the team, their coach and all involved knows no bounds today. © Belga
Belgian newspaper editorials are stressing the dazzling path of the Red Devils, the day after the defeat of the national team against their French rivals in the semi-final in the football World Cup.
The victory of the French team, ‘Les Bleus’ (1-0), is disappointing for Belgium, but supporters must hold on to the tremendous capacity of the Red Devils to bring together the entire nation.

Le Soir reports that spectators did not watch any kind of flamboyant match, on Tuesday, in St Petersburg. The France-Belgium match represented “the epitome of modern football, where sentiment has no place, but everything hinges upon the result.”

Sudpresse also notes that Belgians are waking up with “a hangover, tears in their eyes and a feeling of unfinished business sticking in their throats.”

However, La Libre says that for an entire month, the Devils have moved Belgium, even beyond their supporters: the entire country has been on their epic journey with them.

Le Soir further asserts, “We forgot, just for a time, our quarrels and cares, spending several days in a state of simple, contagious and collective emotion, a sentiment which had, up until recently, been notably lacking in the country.”

Sudpresse believes that the Belgian national team succeeded in “broadcasting our fundamental values across the entire world.” It further speaks of the goals of “sharing, solidarity, generosity, the team pushing themselves to their limits, humility, self-mockery, humour and living together, going beyond individual origins and beliefs.”

La Dernière Heure said that the players “proved that Belgium indeed formed a single nation.” The publication supported the bravery of team members.

Le Soir said Belgium has become a “tangible reality in global football.” It lined up five straight successes and was, until last night, positioned in the final square.

RTBF went one better saying that the Devils could leave the tournament with their heads held high: “Faultless in the group stages, incredible in the last sixteen against Japan and then heros in the quarters against Brazil, they enabled us to experience unforgettable emotions.”

The Belgian coach, Roberto Martinez, proved to be an unmatched tactician. La Libre is insisting that seeing the Red Devils dominate Brazil in the quarter finals will remain for many an indelible memory, and then invites everyone to come back in four years.

The Red Devils still have one final fight on Saturday during the World Cup play-off in Russia - against Croatia or England - to attempt to scoop third place.

Christopher Vincent
The Brussels Times
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