Belgium National Football Team - Competitive Record - World Cup

World Cup

Belgium qualified for six successive World Cups from 1982 through 2002. The Belgian team reached the knockout phase five out of six times from 1982 to 2002, including a streak of four tournaments. One of their most famous victories was a 1–0 win over defending champions Argentina, in the first game of the 1982 World Cup held at Camp Nou with a goal by Erwin Vandenbergh.

Four years later they achieved their best-ever World Cup run in 1986 when they placed fourth under command of players like Jan Ceulemans, Eric Gerets and Jean-Marie Pfaff. Belgium surprisingly won against favourites Soviet Union with stars such as Igor Belanov and Rinat Dasayev (3–4) after extra time. Belgium also beat Spain on penalties, but they lost to eventual champions Argentina in the semifinal (0–2). In the third-place match Belgium lost to France (2–4) after extra time. Captain and midfielder Jan Ceulemans was the first Belgian player to be selected in the All-Star Team of a World Cup. Enzo Scifo was elected as best young player of the tournament.

In the 1990 World Cup, Belgium did well against England, but eventually lost in the last minute of extra time after a goal by David Platt. Enzo Scifo was elected as second best player of the 1990 World Cup after Lothar Matthäus.

In the 1994 World Cup Belgium lost to title defenders Germany in round 2. Michel Preud'homme was elected as best goalkeeper of the tournament and he was selected in the All-Star Team.

In 1998 Belgium was one of only two teams, together with world champion France not to lose a single game. Three draws in the first round – against Netherlands, Mexico and South Korea – proved not enough to reach the knockout stage. In 1998 Enzo Scifo and Franky Van Der Elst appeared in their fourth World Cups, setting a Belgian record.

The 2002 FIFA World Cup did not start well for Belgium, but the team improved during the tournament. Captain Marc Wilmots was notable for scoring in every match of the first round. In the second round they had to play against eventual champions Brazil. To the surprise of the Brazilians themselves, referee Peter Prendergast disallowed goal by Marc Wilmots that would have given Belgium a 1–0 lead. Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari declared after the tournament that the match against the Red Devils had been the hardest for Brazil to win. The team did win the tournament's fair-play award. Marc Wilmots equalled the record of Enzo Scifo and Franky Van Der Elst by appearing in 4 World Cup squads, although he didn't play in his first World Cup in 1990. Wilmots also scored his 5th World Cup goal against Russia, which made him Belgium's top scorer in World Cup Finals matches.

Belgium World Cup squads
Belgium squad – 1930 FIFA World Cup
  • Adams
  • Badjou
  • Braine
  • Chantraine
  • De Bie
  • De Clercq
  • De Deken
  • Delbeke
  • Diddens
  • Hellemans
  • Hoydonckx
  • Moeschal
  • Nouwens
  • Saeys
  • Versyp
  • Voorhoof
  • Goetinck
Belgium squad – 1934 FIFA World Cup
  • Badjou
  • Bourgeois
  • Brichaut
  • Capelle
  • Claessens
  • Devries
  • Grimmonprez
  • Hellemans
  • Heremans
  • Joacim
  • Lamoot
  • Ledent
  • Pappaert
  • Peeraer
  • Putmans
  • Simons
  • Smellinckx
  • Van Ingelgem
  • Vandeweyer
  • Versyp
  • Voorhoof
  • Welkenhuysen
  • Goetinck
Belgium squad – 1938 FIFA World Cup
  • Badjou
  • Braet
  • Braine
  • Buyle
  • Capelle
  • Ceuleers
  • Dalem
  • De Winter
  • Fievez
  • Gommers
  • Henry
  • Isemborghs
  • Nelis
  • Paverick
  • Petit
  • Seys
  • Smellinckx
  • Stijnen
  • Van Alphen
  • Vanden Wouwer
  • Vandeweyer
  • Voorhoof
  • Butler
Belgium squad – 1954 FIFA World Cup
  • Gernaey
  • Dries
  • Van Brandt
  • Huysmans
  • Carré
  • Mees
  • Vliers
  • Houf
  • Coppens
  • Anoul
  • Mermans
  • Geerts
  • Dirickx
  • Van Kerkhoven
  • H. Van den Bosch
  • P. Van Den Bosch
  • Ausloos
  • Van Der Linden
  • Backaert
  • Maertens
  • Van Steen
  • Van Hoywegen
  • Livingstone
Belgium squad – 1970 FIFA World Cup
  • Piot
  • Heylens
  • Thissen
  • Dewalque
  • Jeck
  • Dockx
  • Semmeling
  • Van Moer
  • Devrindt
  • Van Himst
  • Puis
  • Trappeniers
  • Beurlet
  • Martens
  • Vandendaele
  • Polleunis
  • Verheyen
  • Lambert
  • Carteus
  • Peeters
  • Janssens
  • Duquesne
  • Goethals
Belgium squad – 1982 FIFA World Cup
  • Pfaff
  • Gerets (c)
  • L. Millecamps
  • Meeuws
  • Renquin
  • Vercauteren
  • Vandereycken
  • Van Moer
  • Vandenbergh
  • Coeck
  • Ceulemans
  • Custers
  • Van der Elst
  • Baecke
  • De Schrijver
  • Plessers
  • Verheyen
  • Mommens
  • M. Millecamps
  • Vandersmissen
  • Czerniatynski
  • Munaron
  • Thys
Belgium squad – 1986 FIFA World Cup Fourth Place
  • Pfaff
  • Gerets
  • F. Van der Elst
  • De Wolf
  • Renquin
  • Vercauteren
  • Vandereycken
  • Scifo
  • Vandenbergh
  • Desmet
  • Ceulemans (c)
  • Munaron
  • Grün
  • Clijsters
  • L. Van der Elst
  • Claesen
  • Mommens
  • Veyt
  • Broos
  • Bodart
  • Demol
  • Vervoort
  • Thys
Belgium squad – 1990 FIFA World Cup
  • Preud'homme
  • Gerets (c)
  • Albert
  • Clijsters
  • Versavel
  • Emmers
  • Demol
  • Van der Elst
  • Degryse
  • Scifo
  • Ceulemans
  • Bodart
  • Grün
  • Claesen
  • De Sart
  • De Wolf
  • Plovie
  • Staelens
  • Van Der Linden
  • De Wilde
  • Wilmots
  • Vervoort
  • Thys
Belgium squad – 1994 FIFA World Cup
  • Preud'homme
  • Medved
  • Borkelmans
  • Albert
  • Smidts
  • Staelens
  • Van der Elst
  • Nilis
  • Degryse
  • Scifo
  • Czerniatynski
  • De Wilde
  • Grün (c)
  • De Wolf
  • Emmers
  • Boffin
  • Weber
  • Wilmots
  • Van Meir
  • Verlinden
  • Van Der Heyden
  • Renier
  • Van Himst
Belgium squad – 1998 FIFA World Cup
  • De Wilde
  • Crasson
  • Staelens
  • Vidović
  • Borkelmans
  • Van der Elst
  • Wilmots
  • Oliveira
  • M. Mpenza
  • Nilis
  • Van Kerckhoven
  • Vande Walle
  • Verlinden
  • Scifo (c)
  • Clement
  • De Boeck
  • Verstraeten
  • Verheyen
  • Van Meir
  • E. Mpenza
  • Boffin
  • Deflandre
  • Leekens
Belgium squad – 2002 FIFA World Cup
  • De Vlieger
  • Deflandre
  • De Boeck
  • Van Meir
  • Van Kerckhoven
  • Simons
  • Wilmots (c)
  • Goor
  • Sonck
  • Walem
  • Verheyen
  • Van Der Heyden
  • Vandendriessche
  • Vermant
  • Peeters
  • Van Buyten
  • Englebert
  • Vanderhaeghe
  • Thijs
  • Strupar
  • Boffin
  • Mpenza
  • Herpoel
  • Waseige
Year Round GP W D* L GS GA
1930 1st Round 2 0 0 2 0 4
1934 1st Round 1 0 0 1 2 5
1938 1st Round 1 0 0 1 1 3
1950 Withdrew
1954 1st Round 2 0 1 1 5 8
1958 Did not qualify
1962
1966
1970 1st Round 3 1 0 2 4 5
1974 Did not qualify
1978
1982 2nd Round 5 2 1 2 3 5
1986 4th place 7 2 2 3 12 15
1990 2nd Round 4 2 0 2 6 4
1994 2nd Round 4 2 0 2 4 4
1998 1st Round 3 0 3 0 3 3
2002 2nd Round 4 1 2 1 6 7
2006 Did not qualify
2010
2014 To be decided
Total 11/19 36 10 9 17 46 63

Read more about this topic:  Belgium National Football Team, Competitive Record

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