World Cup: How Did Belgium Get So Good?

The Training Ground reveals how Belgium got so good at soccer.

Coaching revolution that took Belgium to top of world

World Cup: How Did Belgium Get So Good?


“We don’t have league tables until the Under-14 level. That was one of the big battles for us. Coaches shouldn’t be concerned about tables and trying to win trophies before this age – they should be thinking about developing players.

Coaches are inclined to focus on winning the game. That makes them play the big, strong players who give them the best chance of winning, so the late developers end up on the bench 75% of the time.

The second thing we did was play four quarters. At the end of the first and third quarters all the subs had to come off the bench. That was the only time the coach could make substitutions. Otherwise they don’t develop, because they’re on the bench watching the game instead of participating in it.

Remember that slogan again – love the game, then the learning can start.”

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