The Red Devils lost heavily to Switzerland (5-2) on Sunday in Lucerne. Belgium will not play, therefore, in the Nations League’s Final Four.
The last time Belgium conceded five goals was on 5 September 2009 in Coruna, at a 5-0 defeat against Spain, the future world champion. The national team was then coached by Franky Vercauteren. Among those who were in action on Sunday in Lucerne, only Eden Hazard was part of the game in 2009.
This defeat, as painful as it was unexpected, prevents the Devils from playing the first Final Four of this new continental competition. Besides Switzerland, Portugal and England are already qualified; the last place will be for France or the Netherlands. In case of victory on Monday in Germany – already relegated to League B – the Oranje will validate their ticket for the finals scheduled in June 2019 in Portugal. A Dutch defeat would qualify the French world champions.
The draw for this Final Four will take place in Dublin on 3 December, the day after that of the Euro 2020 qualifications. The winner of the Nations League not being automatically qualified for the Euro, must necessarily pass by the qualifications.
Apart from the prestigious aspect of a continental trophy, the Nations League is also very lucrative. Indeed, a victory will earn the winner 10.5 million euros. For comparison, the Belgian Football Union came back from the Russian World Cup with 20.7 million for its third place.