Belgium’s Red Devils will become football World Cup champions by beating England in the final, former national-team goalie Jean-Marie Pfaff predicted in an interview with the German news agency, APA. When Belgium finished fourth in the World Cup “in Mexico in 1986, we were a golden generation; this one is brilliant,” Piaff (64) said. “If we’re not champions this time around, we’ll never be. France will be a tough adversary in the semi-finals, but I think the Belgians and the English will meet in the final and we’ll win. So far we’ve been the best team in the tournament.”
“It’s an extraordinary generation that has been playing together for many years and it learnt from the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016,” Piaff said as he listed the reasons for Belgium’s success. “It’s also very important to be able to field two completely different teams. We saw against England that we were able to win with our B team. Argentina has Messi, Brazil Neymar, but we have many incredible players. With Hazard, De Bruyne and Lukaku, it’s hard to hold them all off.”
Pfaff stressed the importance of head coach Roberto Martinez, whom he described as “a mentor for all the players” while highlighting the work of his predecessor Marc Wilmots. “It’s he who built the good foundation,” he noted.
Should Red Devils captain Eden Hazard become the man to hold the trophy aloft on Sunday the 15th of July, the country “will explode”, Pfaff predicted.
“It would be a miracle for such a small country, comparable, to a lesser extent, to what Denmark pulled off at Euro 1992,” said the man known as ‘El Sympatico’. “Whatever happens, this team has already done great things and I hope it will seize this opportunity. In 1986, we could already have played in the final against Germany without two unjustified offsides blown against us in the first half against Argentina. This time around, there is a great chance especially since big teams have already been eliminated.”
The Brussels Times