Serbia vs. Belgium  0 - 3

Article

Wilmots predicts Belgium brilliance

12 October 2012 14:55

Manager Marc Wilmots said a bright future awaits Belgium in international football, but added they need time to fulfil their true capabilities.

The Belgians have Premier League stars such as Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen, Marouane Fellaini and Jan Vertonghen in their ranks, but Wilmots feels the less experienced players are not on top of their game just yet.

"This generation will shine at their brightest in the years to come, as they're still young and can improve a lot," Wilmots told Fifa.com.

"The likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Christian Benteke are only 20 years old and are not yet established regulars for their clubs.

"We have to be realistic and give them time. I'm not speaking for myself when I say that, because my life won't change if I'm not here tomorrow. We've managed to build a group of 25 players who are moving forward, but it's going to be tough all the way to the end (of the qualifying competition).

"We need to treat our 10 remaining matches as cup finals if we are to qualify; we must stay humble and realise that it will all be decided in matches nine and 10.

"If we go through the play-offs, our experience as a team will be much better and so, too, will our chances of reaching Brazil."

Belgium take on Serbia on Friday in a top-of-the-table Group A clash in UEFA qualifying for the World Cup.

Article

Vertonghen wants favoured role

10 October 2012 14:05

Tottenham Hotspur's Jan Vertonghen wants to return to central defence after filling in at left fullback early in the 2012/13 season.

The 25-year-old made his name as a ball-playing centre-back with Ajax but has featured at fullback as cover for the injured Benoit Assou-Ekotto since sealing a 10 million-euro move to north London in the off season.

While revealing his national team coach Marc Wilmots is happy for him to be deployed out wide, the Belgian international has said his preferred position is in the middle of defence.

"At Tottenham I play left-back because of injuries. Marc Wilmots likes that perhaps, but I've got other ambitions," he told reporters.

Vertonghen is with the Belgium national team ahead of their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying clash away to Serbia on Friday, a game which he believes will be a difficult prospect.

"The match in Serbia will be one of the hardest, but everyone knows how important this is and is very sharp. We'll go for the three points, but must be sharp in the defence," he said.

"Serbia is starting a new phase where a lot of new players must be integrated. It looks like the situation we were in a few years ago and everyone knows how hard that is. We must take advantage of that."