Bélgica, el increíble crecimiento de su fútbol

Bélgica, el increíble crecimiento de su fútbol

El fútbol en Bélgica de primer nivel ya es una realidad. Durante la década de 2010, el país belga se ha convertido en una cantera jugadores estrellas del panorama europeo y mundial. Actualmente, el talento e inspiración, tanto de los clubes de la liga como los futbolistas que tienen protagonismo en la selección, causa la atención de clubes como los Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea, entre otros muchos.

Sin embargo, el auge  de la zona del Benelux en los terrenos de juego se remonta a la década de los años 80 y principios de 1990. En el verano de 1980, La séptima edición del mayor torneo continental de selecciones supuso el inicio de una década dorada del fútbol belga. Alemania conquistó el trofeo con un resultado de dos a uno en la final disputada sobre territorio italiano. Sin embargo, fue el comienzo de una etapa gloriosa de jugadores y equipos de Bélgica.

 

La etapa dorada de Bélgica

A consecuencia del segundo puesto en la Eurocopa, el estilo de juego de Bélgica apareció en las máximas competiciones continentales: La Liga de Campeones y la Copa de la UEFA. Actualmente, ningún equipo de la Jupiler League ostenta entre sus vitrinas el prestigioso trofeo de la UEFA Champions League. Únicamente, el Club Brujas en la temporada 77-78 alcanzó la final del torneo, sin embargo no tuvo la capacidad de superar a un todopoderoso Liverpool que ya había conquistado la edición de la pasada campaña (1-0). No obstante, los equipos que han encabezado la clasificación de la liga normalmente obtienen opciones de representar a Bélgica en territorio europeo.

Anderlecht, Brujas y Standard de Lieja han encabezado la tabla de mejores equipos de la máxima competición nacional en aquella época. El club de la localidad de Anderlecht, cercana a Bruselas se adjudicó el primer puesto  en cinco ocasiones durante el periodo de los 80, además de lograr la Copa de UEFA en 1984 y el subcampeonato del mismo torneo dos años más tarde. Por otro lado, ese aplastante dominio mantuvo a Brujas y Standard de Lieja en la sombra, los cuales consiguieron coronarse como campeones de la competición en tres y dos ocasiones respectivamente.

 

La selección de Bélgica de Guy Thys

El combinado nacional de Bélgica vivió sus mejores años de fútbol internacional sin ser el conjunto que habitualmente conquista los torneos importantes. Comenzó su periplo como equipo potencia dentro y fuera de Europa gracias a la medalla de plata de la Euro 1980 de Italia. Pero el sueño no finalizó en aquel verano. Guy Thys había entrenado a los principales equipos del país belga tanto en primera división como en segunda categoría. La etapa dorada del ex jugador y técnico asomaba al horizonte tras ser designado como nuevo seleccionador de Bélgica en 1976.

¿Por qué la revista inglesa World Soccer nombró a Guy Thys como mejor entrenador del mundo en 1986? La respuesta se basa  en la Copa Mundial de la FIFA México 1986. La edición de aquel año dispuso de un nuevo formato en la fase final, con eliminatorias a partido único hasta llegar a la final. Bélgica alcanzó las semifinales derrotando a España en la tanda de penaltis. Pero unas selecciones potencia como Argentina y Francia acabaron con el sueño de campeón del mundo de “los diablos rojos”.

Enzo Scifo, integrante de la plantilla nacional, fue nombrado mejor jugador joven, de tal manera que catapultó al futbolista a clubes europeos como Girondins de Bordeaux, AJ Auxerre, Inter de Milán, Torino y AS Mónaco. Se ha considerado a Enzo como uno de los mejores jugadores belgas de todos los tiempos.

 

La actualidad de Bélgica: La élite del fútbol mundial

Tras la celebración del mundial 2002 de Corea y Japón, Bélgica comenzaba un nuevo milenio de decepciones en el ámbito futbolístico. No certificó su clasificación a la fase final de una Eurocopa o Mundial hasta el año 2014. Un renovado conjunto entrenado por Marc Wilmots, regresó a los escenarios más importantes del panorama global en tierras brasileñas. La actuación de Bélgica en la Copa del Mundo de Brasil marcaba el inicio de un estilo de juego renovado e innovador con respecto a la etapa dorada de la década de 1980.

Partido entre Bélgica y Brasil del Mundial de Rusia 2018

El balance de “los diablos rojos” en Sudamérica, alcanzando los cuartos de final, evolucionaba positivamente. Un año más tarde, arrebató a Argentina el primer puesto del Ranking FIFA de mejores selecciones del mundo, y por tanto, se convirtió en el segundo país que lideraba la tabla sin conquistar previamente la Copa Mundial. La presencia de Bélgica en las fases finales ya es una realidad. Jóvenes promesas, con la mirada puesta por parte de los principales clubes europeos, elevaron el nivel del fútbol del nuevo milenio. La consecuencia se tradujo en un tercer puesto en el Mundial de Rusia 2018, y la racha de 19 victorias y dos derrotas desde el 18 de junio de 2018 hasta la fecha, contando con la Copa del Mundo, Liga de las Naciones, amistosos y fase de clasificación a la Eurocopa.

 

Los números y nivel de los jugadores belgas

Desde 2016,  el entrenador español Roberto Martínez dirige a una generación de jugadores con un talento descomunal. Los datos reflejan sus habilidades.

Romelu Lukaku, internacional en 84 ocasiones y actual integrante de la plantilla del Inter de Milán, ostenta el puesto de máximo goleador de la selección belga con 52 dianas y un promedio de 0, 62 goles. Un escalón por debajo, Hazard se asegura la medalla de plata de máximos goleadores de la selección con 32 tantos y, una media de 0,3 por encima de jugadores históricos como Bernard Voorhoof de la década de 1930, Paul Van Himst de 1960 e incluso al que fue su entrenador en 2014 Wilmots.

Jugadores como  Hazard (Real Madrid), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Mertens (Nápoles), Lukaku (Inter de Milán), Courtois (Real Madrid), Witsel (Borussia Dortmund) e incluso Timothy Castagne (Atalanta) y Jason Denayer (Olympique Lyon) se han consagrado como presente y futuro de Bélgica en el fútbol mundial.

 

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