Belgium gave a series of controlled and powerful displays throughout qualifying. Disciplined defensively, they are prepared to be patient but look to break with pace. A feature of their usual 4-2-3-1 system is the frequent positional interchanging between the three attacking midfielders. Belgium are a physically imposing side and seldom outmuscled.
They also have an abundance of versatile attacking players and, crucially, a tight-knit team spirit instilled by coach Marc Wilmots. Belgium are arguably the emerging European nation. They have an amazing array of talented players - with many of them playing in the Premier League. Belgium qualified for six straight World Cups from 1982 to 2002, reaching the knockout phase five times and coming fourth in 1986.
Coach:A celebrated player, and then a less successful politician, Marc Wilmots became national coach in June 2012 after three years as an assistant. His managerial CV was restricted to undistinguished spells at Schalke and Belgian side St Truiden, but he has guided Belgium from 54th to a best-ever fifth in the Fifa rankings.
Key Players: Chelsea's Eden Hazard, 22, has generally flourished under Wilmots after a previously underwhelming contribution to the national side.A superb technician with an explosive turn of pace, the playmaker is Belgium's key creator.
Diminutive, dynamic and fond of a dribble, 17-year-old Zakaria Bakkali has been likened to team-mate Hazard by coach Wilmots. In August, the PSV Eindhoven player became the youngest scorer of a hat-trick in the Dutch top flight. He won his first senior cap two months later, against Wales.
Prospects: In emphatic fashion, registering a national record seven successive qualifying wins during an unbeaten campaignand they are ranked 11th on FIFA world classification.Download Free Guide World Cup 2014