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Monday, 12 June, 2000, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Are the Belgians to be feared?
Are the Belgians to be feared?
Belgium thrilled their fans in Brussels by winning an exciting opening match against Sweden - but are they really genuine contenders?

Few people outside the co-host nation itself tipped Belgium to create much of an impression at Euro 2000, though the performance may have changed some minds.

And what of Sweden after their disappointing performance?

They qualified impressively from England's group but they had a rocky time against Belgium and are already struggling to qualify for the quarter-finals.

For their part, Belgium seemed very dangerous going forward and they may go on to upset better equipped nations than Sweden as the finals go on.

Tell us what you think.

Are the Belgians to be feared?

HAVE YOUR SAY


Belgium surprised many and will surprise many more. The collective team spirit will take them maybe to the semi-finals. But should lack against better teams like France.

Nobody should fear the Belgian team, but underestimating them might be a big mistake.

Yves Torbeyns, Belgium
Having beaten major teams in international friendlies, their future opponents will be careful approaching the game because home advantage and a collective desire to win can upset any team. Lets hope that the old guard can keep up with the pace and guide the younger inexperienced players to achieve results. Definitely a team to cause an upset in Euro 2000
Rene Chamorre, United Kingdom

I hope for the sake of the tournament Belgium and Holland can have a good run. If they get knocked out then Euro 2000 could fall a little flat and after the start we've had that would be a shame.
Martin, Scotland

Just because they beat Sweden, it doesn't mean they are a team to be feared. They will probably be runner up in their group, behind Italy, but that's about as far as they will go.
Alan, England

If Belgium can control their nerves, they have a shot at making the last four.
Gert Bleus, Belgium

The key to winning is not how many marquee players one has but a team's ability to play as a team, and a collective desire to win. The Belgians lead in this category.
Armen, USA

I don't think the Belgians can win but they could progress to the latter stages. They have home advantage, underrated players and their biggest advantage is that no-one expects them to win.
Philip, Belgium

Their biggest advantage is that no one expects them to win

Philip, Belgium

I enjoyed the Belgium v Sweden game very much. Although the Belgium team is not the most talented, they did show motivation and team spirit. I think that it is possible they will go further than the other hosts, my own country.
Dennis Brons, Holland

I think Belgium started well and being one of the host nations they have a lot of support, but I think they will burn out if they reach the quarter-finals.
David, England

I think Belgium could make it to the semi-finals. They are normally better than they were on Saturday, but I do think there are a few teams in the competition they can't beat such as France and Spain. I'm sure that most people are judging Belgium on this one game, without realising they beat Italy and Norway in away matches in the last few months.
Guy, Belgium



Sweden won our qualifying group with some panache and Belgium have now beaten them

John, England
Lots of people commenting that Belgium won't stand up to some of the better teams...like England? Let's stop being blinkered - Sweden won our qualifying group with some panache and Belgium have now beaten them. Displays over the last few days suggest no-one could beat France on form, but otherwise I think Belgium are as much of a threat as anyone.
John, England

I wouldn't go as far as to say Belgium will win the championship, but I think they do have a chance, just like any other team. You mustn't underestimate the fact that Belgium are playing on home soil. This puts them in an excellent underdog position something they have taken advantage since Waseige became coach.
Jelle Janssens, Belgium

Belgium did play well... but they will stand no chance against the larger teams such as England, the Netherlands or France. They were good going forward but shaky at the back and they will crumble underneath the skill of Shearer, Anelka or Kluivert.
Michael Cope, England

Belgium worked very hard and played above themselves. However, I don't think they'll progress further than the quarter finals because a one-off game at this level will separate the class teams from the workmanlike teams.
Alex Miell, England

Belgium have to be considered as dangerous outsiders. Their biggest strength is the new national trainer, Robert Waseige, who has managed to give a real team and winning spirit to the Belgian team. Their defence also looks very strong.
Eric, UK

Belgium played well against Sweden which surprised me because I thought that Italy and Sweden were the best teams in Group B. They may go through but they will not get past the quarter finals as they don't have enough world class players in their squad.
Iain Littler, Scotland

They seem to be better than first thought. Mpenza looks like a very exiting player, but they lack a squad with very good players through-out. They won't get further than the quarter-finals due to a lack of squad depth.
Jamie, England



They won't get further than the quarter-finals due to a lack of squad depth

Jamie, England

I think the Belgians will get to at least the quarter finals because they have home advantage, but also they have great team sprit. I also think that because they have not had much pressure from the media they have nothing to lose. They will be the shock team of the tournament
Stephen Whittle, England

Belgium are a team to fear, but only if they can count on the eleven starting players. Injuries and red cards could cause problems because the substitutes are of minor class.
Stuer Kurt, Belgium

Belgium have changed a lot over the last few months, from a boring and defensive team into a solid, confident and offensive team. The Belgians have this charming quality that's called 'humbleness' and seem to be quite happy with the idea of just getting in the second round. This spirit might just get them further then they think.
Peter Arnold, Germany

Let's not get excited. Belgium are a very average team. They took a long time to expose a dreadfully one dimensional Swedish outfit, and lack guile and craft in midfield. They were also poor defensively. Fair play to them - they attempted to play some decent stuff and in Mpenza they have a Heskey-esque player capable of scoring a few goals. Their confidence may grow, but they lack the invention and strength to beat some of the major teams in the tournament.
Kirk, Northern Ireland

Belgium rode there luck (great keeper gaff that) and went along on the tide of the home crowd. Great match for the neutrals, good fun to watch. Can they win it?.........errrrrr.....no!
Trev, UK

Belgium could very well be the dark horse of the Euro 2000 championship. They are playing on home turf, and playing well - while they may not win the championship, no team should regard them as a pushover either.
Christian J. DeFeo, Netherlands

Belgium played to their fan's expectations in defeating Sweden. They displayed an all round game and

Belgium are also capable of self-destruction

Steve, Malaysia
are capable of creating chances for themselves. As to whether to fear Belgium, well, they are a formidable team as they are playing in their own backyard and are eager to progress far.
Steve, Malaysia

Belgium have had the best possible start to the championships. I think that they will definitely go through to the next stage, maybe even as group winners. Their victory has boosted not only their own confidence but also that of their fans. This team may not be able to win the whole thing, but with players like Mpenza they are sure to reach the semi-finals.
Raza, Brunei Darussalam



Belgium are not to be feared. They were just lucky!

Sasaki, Japan
Any team in Euro2000 should be feared, there are no weak teams in the contest. I think Belgium didn't play that well, especially not in the first half, but we haven't played anything but friendlies for the past two years, so things can only get better.
Joachim, Belgium

Belgium will probably go into the next round along with Italy but I don't think that they'll have enough stamina against the better teams.
David Collins, Ireland

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See also:

10 Jun 00 | Belgium
Belgium kick off with fine win
10 Jun 00 | Belgium
Spectacular opening for Euro 2000
09 Jun 00 | Fans Guide
Belgians only here for the beer
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