Brazil 2014: My First Belgian World Cup

It has happened. A whole week full of excitement has been rewarded. It’s Friday evening when I get ready for what could be the spectacle of my life. It takes place in Croatia. I’m about to meet some friends in the city to watch Croatia – Belgium on the big screen, together with other people hoping for at least one point. One point is all we need to go to Brazil. The tension is high, even in the local take-away where we ordered some fries and a hamburger. The whole country knows this could be the day.

It was during our walk to the event when Romelu Lukaku scores the first goal of the match. Belgium are leading after just 16 minutes. Soon enough, he scores another one. Lukaku brings us one step closer to Brazil. The country almost exploded with this second goal. We don’t even care about Kranjcar scoring a late goal for Croatia. Belgium explodes as referee Howard Webb brings the match to an end. We have done it. The Red Devils are back in a World Cup!

Brazil 2014 will be my first World Cup with Belgium as one of the teams. I was only six years old when my country was at the World Cup in 2002 and I know nothing about that World Cup. It gave me a special feeling, Friday, after we beat Croatia. It was the first time ever I cried for an international match. Feelings ran high and I sang You’ll Never Walk Alone with the crowd, not even thinking about the fact it’s a Liverpool-thing. No, I sang because I lost control over myself. I didn’t care about people looking at me, thinking I’m drunk (I wasn’t), because everyone in the country was happy. Everyone was celebrating and those who were sleeping have been woken up by the fans on the streets.

The whole country was back alive and everybody, even those who hate football, were celebrating. Belgium are back, and a lot of us believe we can give the world a miracle in 2014! But can we? Can Belgium perform a miracle at Brazil 2014?
Probably every football fan agrees Belgium have a massive team. The relation between staff, players and supporters is amazing at this moment. The fans feel like they’re part of the team and the team gives them what they want to see: good football and victories. Something Belgian fans had to wait for very long. The love for the Red Devils is running high, and some people are even talking about the fact this could end up in something we don’t want. Something we don’t want? Isn’t it allowed to be happy after your country qualified for a big tournament after all those years? The fans have been waiting long enough now and it has become time for Belgium to compete with the rest of the world again.

My vision on our chances in 2014 is not like the others. Most people go too far saying we can win the World Cup. No, we can’t. Not yet. It has been long ago since Belgium played against countries like Spain, Italy or Germany, people’s favorites. It’s a mystery what Belgium’s chances are if they face one of those teams. I’ll be happy to see Belgium making it to the final 16.

Annelies

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