World Cup 2022: All you need to know about Belgium
Belgium’s golden generation are in their last chance saloon, though glory looks a long shot for one of the most experienced squads in Qatar.
Much of the youth will sit on the bench as Roberto Martinez puts his faith in tried and trusted internationals who helped them to a third-placed finish four years ago.
While the Red Devils should get out of the group stage, key players' lack of fitness and form means they are unlikely to offer the same threat this time around.
Belgium's group stage fixtures and UK kick-off times
Belgium vs Canada (Wednesday, November 23, 7pm)
Belgium vs Morocco (Sunday, November 27, 1pm)
Croatia vs Belgium (Thursday, December 1, 3pm)
How Belgium qualified for Qatar 2022
Belgium absolutely cruised through their qualification group and were one of the first teams to officially book their spot at the World Cup.
They won six of their eight games with draws against Czech Republic and Wales meaning they are currently unbeaten in 28 matches in World Cup qualifying.
And it was not a given that qualification would come so easily with the Welsh and Czechs providing tricky opposition in a five-team group.
How Belgium could line up
It is a line-up full of familiar faces for Belgium with Thibaut Courtois in goal and Leander Dendoncker likely to join Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld in the back three.
Thomas Meunier and Yannick Carrasco provide the width with Alex Witsel and Youri Tielemans in the middle.
Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard have free roam further forward and given Romelu Lukaku’s hamstring troubles, the Red Devils are likely to have Michy Batshuayi as their main striker.
Predicted XI: Courtois; Dendoncker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Meunier, Witsel, Tielemans, Carrasco; De Bruyne, Batshuayi, Hazard
Star man: Kevin De Bruyne
Where Hazard was once the poster boy of Belgium’s golden generation, De Bruyne has more than usurped him in recent years.
The Manchester City midfielder, 31, is one of the world’s best players and continues to hit the heights week-in, week-out for Pep Guardiola's men.
If Martinez’s side are to challenge in the latter stages of the tournament again, De Bruyne will be the orchestrator behind their displays.
One to watch: Michy Batshuayi
In an ageing squad, picking a star to make a breakthrough in Qatar is no easy task.
But Batshuayi is a player who never seemed to fulfil his potential for Chelsea, in the same way that he has for Belgium when given the chance.
As well as hitting eight goals in 13 games for Fenerbahce this term, the 29-year-old scored three goals in six Nations League outings this year, starting the Red Devils' last five matches.
With 26 international strikes to his name, Batshuayi could finally elevate himself into the top tier of centre forwards should he fire Martinez's side to glory.
The boss: Roberto Martinez
This will be Martinez’s third and final tournament in charge of Belgium and his appeal is not what it once was in the country.
A semi-final defeat in 2018 followed by quarter-final exit at Euro 2020 means there is a feeling that he has not got the best out of his group of players.
Martinez has stuck with the old guard, which is not universally popular, and a failure in Qatar will ruin any legacy he hoped to leave.
Belgium's official 26-man World Cup squad
Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Simon Mignolet (Club Brugge), Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg)
Defenders: Jan Vertonghen (Anderlecht), Toby Alderweireld (Antwerp), Wout Faes (Leicester), Arthur Theate (Rennes), Zeno Debast (Anderlecht), Thomas Meunier (Borussia Dortmund), Timothy Castagne (Leicester), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Dortmund)
Midfielders: Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid), Leander Dendoncker (Aston Villa), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Youri Tielemans (Leicester), Amadou Onana (Everton), Axel Witsel (Atletico Madrid), Hans Vanaken (Club Brugge)
Forwards: Eden Hazard (Real Madrid), Charles De Ketelaere (AC Milan), Leandro Trossard (Brighton), Dries Mertens (Galatasaray), Jeremy Doku (Rennes), Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan), Michy Batshuayi (Fenerbahce), Lois Openda (Lens)
All information correct as of November 17, 2022