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Wednesday, 24 May, 2000, 18:14 GMT 19:14 UK
Coach dismisses Belgium's chances
Waseige believes Holland are one of the favourites
Belgium coach Robert Waseige has admitted that his side cannot win Euro 2000.

"Can we win? No, I don't think so. It's not realistic," said the 60-year-old.

"We have to wait for real competitive matches and can't draw hasty conclusions from the friendlies we've played.

"I think for us, qualifying for the quarter-finals would be realistic. That'll be difficult enough but, if we can do it, anything is possible, because then it's the knock-out stage and outsiders will have a good chance."

The statement comes as a surprise, following a string of impressive results which included a 2-0 win in Norway, last month.

Can we win? No, I don't think so. It's not realistic

Belgian coach Robert Waseige
The coach from Liege has tipped a number of sides to lift the trophy, with Holland and France, at the top of his list.

"Holland are potentially the big favourites," he said. "Their players all play for big clubs and are capable of raising their game for important matches. The French are fantastic fighters and mentally very strong."

Waseige was also quick to defend criticism aimed at his backline - which is believed to be the squad's major weakness.

"Over the last few matches it has been pretty good," Waseige added. "Our defence is gaining a fair amount of stability and balance. We have a good balance in the team now."

Waseige knows five of the his starting line-up to play in Belgium's opener against Sweden on June 10.

They are Anderlecht goalkeeper Filip De Wilde, sweeper Lorenzo Staelens, Yves Vanderhaeghe and Marc Wilmots in midfield and Croat-turned-Belgian striker Branko Strupar.

But there is one uncertainty that worries Waseige:

"I'm satisfied with my squad. My only fear is to lose some of the mainstays through injury."

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