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Belgium’s World Cup 2018 Performance Can Be Traced Back to Previous Tournaments

A brief overview of the highs and lows for the Belgian national soccer team.

From left, Belgium’s Nacer Chadli, Vincent Kompany and Eden Hazard after their opening goal in a win over Brazil on Friday.CreditManan Vatsyayana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Belgium’s national soccer team was one of 13 teams to play in the inaugural World Cup in 1930, but the country didn’t achieve its first World Cup match win until 1970. Belgium has also claimed several surprising victories against reigning World Cup champions, including France in 2002.

Some other stats:

First appearance: 1930

Total appearances: 13 out of 21 World Cup tournaments

Title wins: 0

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What’s the History

The First Taste of Success

In 1930, Belgium participated in the first World Cup, but the team only made it to the knockout stages in 1986 when they went all the way to the semifinals.

That performance was part of a sustained era of success. Belgium appeared in six consecutive World Cups from 1982 to 2002, making it to the knockout stage for five of those tournaments.

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A Golden Generation Emerges

A new crop of young, talented players powered Belgium to a win over…

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