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Thursday, 11 April, 2002, 09:38 GMT 10:38 UK
Talk about Belgium
Have your say on Belgium's progress
Belgium are knocked out by Brazil in a 2-0 defeat, despite playing well.

Was their World Cup a success?

This debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails appear below.

Fifa doesn't seem understand that top matches need top referees. Because of this the Belgians didn't get the win they well deserved after one of the best matches of this World Cup. Maybe, as the Belgians always get better and better in tournaments like the World Cup they could have won! Maybe, maybe...
Billy, Germany

I remember well, the Belgium team that finished third in 1986, Pfaff as goalie and indeed, Belgium added to their great football and sporting heritage in this World Cup. However, this whole World Cup, not to be a whiner, has been tainted with so many bad calls such as the disallowed goal. instant replay or some sort of review is absolutely necessary, to not only nsure the integrity of the game, but also its fairness to all participants.
Tom Cieszinski, USA

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We witnessed what was probably Belgium's finest hour so far
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David Bates, Belgium
Belgian football is not the odd one out between Germany, France, England and Holland. If you look at the stats, Belgium are consistent in their performances and have had more bad luck than the English side ( I will not speak of Scotland because no one has more bad luck than the Scots,) still talking about their defeats against Brazil in 1970 and Argentina in 1986.

Belgium qualified for the sixth consecutive time for the World Cup, and are with Germany, the best qualifying team, after Brazil : both sides have been to ten World Cups while Brazil have been to eleven.

It's another four long years of frustration ahead, waiting for the next time we'll come so close.
Peter Verpoorten, Belgium

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I am sure sooner or later Brazil's luck will come to an end - so why not against England?
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Remco, Holland
We witnessed what was probably Belgium's finest hour so far. Despite the controversy about the disallowed goal, Belgium too had had some lucky escapes in the competition. The disallowed goal from Japan and the near certain penalty tackle by Deflandres against Tunisia spring to mind.

Somehow Belgium have trouble with smaller teams but at other times are giant slayers. I'm proud of the national team - there is no point in wondering about the 'what ifs'. It's football - just a game. For all their arrogance, Brazil were lucky to win. Unless England have a really, really bad day, they will be sent packing.
David Bates,Belgium

I must admit, I didn't believe in them. But just before the World Cup, they played France and won. Since then, I began to think "Wow, they're good". It was amazing the way they reacted to what was said about them in the press, they were more united than the whole country itself.

Now I can say that I believe in them.So Thank you! Thank you the Belgian team, thank you Marc Wilmots. You were great! I am now proud to be Belgian more than ever!
Alexandra, Belgium

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The red devils proved we are world class and they will be welcomed in Belgium as true heroes
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I know that normally we are rivals, but this time I was supporting red in the absence of orange. Belgium played very attractive football and were nearly the winners in the game against Brazil. The disallowed goal by Belgium and the opening goal through the deflected shot by Rivaldo turned the match. I am sure sooner or later Brazil's luck will come to an end - so why not against England?
Remco, Holland

Indeed, the Belgians deserved to win....I hope everyone saw that Belgium dominated the whole match against Brazil. Great match and congratulations to Belgium.
Sarah, UK

We were the best and deserved to win! Unfortunately, the referee saw it differently. The red devils proved we are world class and they will be welcomed in Belgium as true heroes.England: finish the job for us and send Brazil home.

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As a team Belgium were superior to Brazil. Individuals like Ronaldo and Rivaldo can make the difference
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Yvan, Belgium
What a wasted chance. So much talent and determination. Belgian's loss was their own doing. While watching the game, I thought the players were wearing the wrong shirts. Brazil was playing running soccer, putting incredible pressure on Belgium, while restraining from excessive individual dribbling.

The Belgians, lacking speed and ball control, kept trying to dribble down the centre when there were clear chances to pass and advance.
Jonathan Lee, South Korea

I was impressed by Belgium - A terrific match that showed that Brazil are not runaway favourites for the tournament.Brazil's 'beautiful game' is no longer. They are a hard, clinical team that will use every trick or tactic to get a result, i.e. Rivaldo and his acting.
Paul, Australia

I was really impressed by your performance today. The Brazilian team was saved by its goalie and that unfortunate referee decision. Good luck next time and thanks for a really good game.
Per, Sweden

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A victory for Brazil, yet most neutral observers must feel that Belgium deserved this game
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Paul McCloskey,England
Well done Belgium. The referee just killed you when he disallowed a perfect goal. And I don't know why the Belgian players didn't protest more. The picture would have been completely different had the goal counted because Brazil would have had to chase the game and expose their back. The referee should be banned.
Mourad, Canada

'Brave little Belgium' was the headline of an English newspaper in 1914, I think you can use it again tomorrow
Ruben, Belgium

A victory for Brazil, yet most neutral observers must feel that Belgium deserved this game. The game hinged on Wilmot's well taken but disallowed goal and the one lapse in marking that gave Rivaldo his chance. Pity poor Belgium they didn't even get a fair share of the TV replays - was that a penalty? Poor officiating for such a big game.
Paul McCloskey,England

As a team Belgium were superior to Brazil. Individuals like Ronaldo and Rivaldo can make the difference against any team, but so can the referee... and Marcelo - I think you saw a different match.Well done Belgium...

The Belgian team must have watched Ireland play. Where the Irish deserved to win, the Belgians were better than expected by most of us. To be honest, me as a Belgium fan, was surrised as well. It's year ago I saw the Belgian team fighting like real Red Devils. I think our World Cup adventure was a victory for the Belgian football, whatever everyone else may say!
Patrick, Belgium

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The Belgian team must have watched Ireland play
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Patrick, Belgium
Belgium was the better side today. We deserved to win. Brazil had all the luck on their side. They haven't convinced me at all. Congratulations to our RED DEVILS! See you in Potugal 2004.
Lenny, Belgium

Thank you Belgium for this exciting game. At times it was Belgium who was playing samba football. To be honest, I don't see Brazil going through to the semi finals with this kind of football.
Steven Vandeputte, Belgium

I would like to know where all you guys are that said below Belgium would do something against us... two wonderful goals like those... mamma mia!!! I am happy to see also that many of you are betting for England. I hope you made the same mistake twice!
Marcelo, Brazil

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We are proud, thank you Belgium
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Tim, Belgium
Our side did better than expected, NO thanks to Robert Wasseige. All credit has to go to the players who did a marvellous job, beating Russia and losing with honour to a Brazilian side that is by definition a serious contender for the World Cup.
Bert Michielsen, Belgium

Once again, a poor refereeing decision has altered the course of the World Cup competition in disallowing Belgium's perfect and well executed goal. The referee should be banned from international competition, because the stakes were so high.

Belgium lost, but no one will ever forget this match... dominating Brazil, creating chances, getting a goal cancelled for no reason at all. In the end, a fine World Cup for the Red Devils !! We are proud, thank you Belgium !
Tim, Belgium

Bravo, Belgium. If England can only play as well as you did against Brazil, I know we can get to the semi-finals.

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After a very disappointing start they showed they can play "the beautiful game"
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T Jacobs,Canada
Belgium can leave the tournament with their heads raised.After a very disappointing start they showed they can play "the beautiful game".Their performance was formidable and they deserved more. A disallowed goal that wasn't and two counter strikes is what made them lose the match.
T Jacobs,Canada

The Jamaican ref came up with a new rule on Wilmot's beautiful goal: "Belgium can't score against Brazil". Anyone out there still believing in fair refereeing at the World Cup?
Gabriele, Italy

I have got to say that the Belgians and the Brazilians have been the two teams of the tournament. Belgium are very neat and play in a style similar to Holland with anyone getting forward and others covering. Teamwork is their main strength and although the Brazilians have more flair, I get the feeling hard work will pay off and the Belgians could be celebrating a trip to the quarter finals.
Toby Matheson, England

Bookmakers are telling us that Belgium are 80/1! I think that they underestimate the power of the Belgians when they are the underdog.

If Brazil have a weak game, as we did against Tunisia, and we play as motivated as we did against Russia, the chances are more likely 2/1. Verheyen, Walem and Wilmots would love to end their careers with a victory, a World Cup Victory!
Gert, Belgium

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I think we stand a greater chance of winning against Brazil than we did against Tunisia!
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Brazil struggled to victory against Turkey thanks to a dubious penalty decision. This Brazil side struggled to qualify and have yet to face any serious opposition in these finals.

Sure, they have some incredible talent and may go all the way, but please Belgium, don't sit back in awe... I truly believe you can topple the over-hyped South Americans!
Michael, England

I think we stand a greater chance of winning against Brazil than we did against Tunisia!

Let's make this crystal clear, Brazil have hardly had a tough group progressing to the next round. When you consider they barely scraped through to the finals at all, I see a Belgian team making mincemeat of the Brazilian defence.
Dirk Bikemberg,Denmark

Living abroad it is embarrassing to see how we Belgians are so self-critical. The Red Devils may not all be superstars, but they have shown character and never-say-die motivation. If they continue to play like that, who cares if they win or lose against Brazil? I do! Go Belgium, go!

I reckon the Belgians can sneak a victory against Brazil.Brazil are hopeless in defence and will be tested by Belgium.If Belgium don't knock them out then the winner of Denmark v England probably will.
Jules, England

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The biggest challenge yet for the Red Devils is Brazil
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I really don't think Belgium can beat Brazil (who can?). But this is an excellent opportunity for Belgium to slip into its favoured underdog role and play from an organized back 4.And don't forget that Brazil actually let teams play. All Belgium has to do is play smart and pray the football gods are on their side ...
Alexander, Belgium

I don't think the Belgian team has any chance against Brazil. But everything can happen in a World Cup.
Fabiano Ferrari,Brazil (USA)

I've grown to like an appreciate the strength of the Belgian team these past weeks and am eagerly looking forward to their game against Brazil. Yes, it will be tough but it can be done, especially with start young players like Wesley Sonck. Wouldn't you agree?
Tom Green, United Kingdom

France, Argentina and Portugal have been left behind. Russia was a challenge. The biggest challenge yet for the Red Devils is Brazil. However, it is only one game and I know they can come up with a win.

Will it be like '86? Then, no-one believed that Belgium could beat the USSR, one of the pre-tournament favourites. A surprise win seems unlikely indeed, but if we do, then it's finally payback time against England.
Philip, Belgium (living in England)

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I can only hope Brazil will underestimate the Belgians
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Stijn Scrayen,Belgium
Belgium is obviously one of the weakest countries on this World Cup where pure technical skills are concerned. Nevertheless, football is all about aggression and team play. The criticism, after the game against Tunisia, was no joke but a right evaluation. Although Belgium showed some improvement against Russia, we cannot deny the lack of pure skill.
Marc Huyghe,Belgium

Absolutely amazing! I dreamt of playing Brazil for a long time, and now it's actually happening. I also start worrying about it now. Belgium shouldn't play defensively: this World Cup has already shown their defence doesn't show the discipline it used to have.

Besides, Brazil's own defence isn't that strong either, so it could be an entertaining match; 2 teams with better attackers than defenders... only Brazil just has that amazing 'class' and are technically superb. Belgium just has collective spirit. Let's see what wins: collectivism or technical skills.

I can only hope Brazil will underestimate the Belgians. As some English will still remember in the first round of the UEFA-cup of '71 Leeds United won 2-0 in Lierse, Leeds United was very confident to win at home and underestimated Lierse. But Lierse won at Elland Road, and now there's still written 'Remember Lierse' in the players tunnel.

How great would it be if the Brazilians would 'Remember Belgium?'
Stijn Scrayen,Belgium

Belgium are bound to beat Brazil. They clearly underestimate Belgium by far, although I must admit that their first two matches were bad. I quote Roberto Carlos: "What I think of Belgium? I don't take them into account, it's my opinion we will either face Japan or Russia."

So: Belgium are favourite because they are the underdog, that's why Belgium will go through to the quarter-finals against... ENGLAND!
Ive Van Giel,Belgium

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Normally we don't stand a chance, but this is football, and it wouldn't be the first surprise of this tournament
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Tom, Belgium
In the last sixteen, no game has a strong favourite. Brazil is Brazil, but don't forget we also have "bad days", remember we lost 0-3 to France in 1998, and everybody knew our team was superior. Senegal did the same with France this time. I am nervous. If Brazil plays below average surely the Red Devils will miss no chances.
Luis Kmentt, Brasil

Let's all be proud of our team. Only the true supporters believe in their team. I believed and they didn't. Come on Belgians, some patriotism is in order now. They deserve it
Thomas, Belgium

Brazil used trickery to defeat Turkey, the European "powerhouse" playing in its first cup. They ran around the Chinese who were also playing in their first cup, and managed to let in two goals in a game against Costa Rica - a team that probably earns less money than any single Brazilian starter.

I'm waiting to pop open some cherry flavoured beer, and to see a nice upset brought on by Belgian team that has shown it can score some nice goals.
Steven, USA

To put it simple: Belgium don't stand a chance against Brazil, all players know that, and that it exactly why they DO have a chance. Belgians are at their best then.
Rudy, Belgium

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The better the opponents, the stronger the Red Devils usually get
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Gino Venneman, Belgium
We got what we wanted: to reach the second round. And it's great we'll meet Brazil there. It's always an honour to play against this team. Normally we don't stand a chance, but this is football, and it wouldn't be the first surprise of this tournament.

My only worry is Van Buyten. It's also thanks to him and his great last-minute goal against Scotland, that we are present at this World Cup. But now he is playing terribly and makes several tactical mistakes: probably because he's still young and lacking confidence (he received a lot of criticism in the Belgian press lately). Maybe Simons should play instead of him.
Tom, Belgium

A well deserved win for our team and maybe the start of some dazzling performances to come. We have no technical wizards, but a good team.

The better the opponents, the stronger the Red Devils usually get. A good result against the Brazilian 'soccer gods' wouldn't surprise me. Come on, Red Devils; show the world what team spirit is all about!
Gino Venneman, Belgium

If Belgium can stay tight at the back, hold their shape and deny the Brazilians room to display their skills in attack, I see no reason why they can't get the goal they need for victory on the break. Good luck!

The match against Russia proves they have the ability and determination to win. Now all they need is some support by their fellow countrymen.
Maarten, Belgian in New York, USA

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The Samba Boys will have a tougher time than they might expect
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Brendon, England
Hey, everybody in Belgium is starting to realise that if Brazil falter and England beat Denmark we can take revenge for the 1990 shock defeat in Bologna. David Platt is still not forgotten and the squad will do everything to push Ronaldo aside and take on Beckham and his boys!

If Belgium can be solid, they've now shown that they are capable of scoring, enough to break the Brazilian defence. In Euro 2000 they struggled because they weren't finding the net. They can win if they stay strong and push the Brazilians hard! Come on you devils!
Taco Michiels, belgium

Belgians are modest people and usually exceed their own expectations. Brazil seem to be getting better as the tournament continues but don't write Belgium off just yet - the Samba Boys will have a tougher time than they might expect.
Brendon, England

Belgium will beat Brazil: no doubt about that. If teams would go through on basis of (technical) quality, France, Argentina, Portugal, Croatia and Nigeria would not be send home now. Everything is possible in football and you can take nothing for granted!!
Mike, UK

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I am sure Brazil will scrape through with a 2-0 win
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Anthony Bismarck , Ghana
I'm a Brazilian-born Belgian citizen. So this game will be very special to me. I think that if Belgium can manage to pass the first half hour without suffering a goal, they could beat Brazil. However, I'm quite sure Brazil will make at least two goals. So, Wilmots should continue his nice streak!
Daniel Martins Gistelinck, Belgium, Brazil

Belgium loves to be an underdog.They teach the whole world how with the correct mentality and strategy great battles can be won. History will repeat himself.
Nikolaos Parissis, Belgium

After Argentina and France left the World Cup with a poor performance everybody is saying that Brazil are the favourites to win their fifth title. But let's face it: Brazil has played against very weak opponents.

Maybe against Belgium they'll have the chance to prove how good they are. Although Brazil's defence is really awful, some teams with very good players have already left the competition.
Carlos Tavares, Brazil

I think Brazil has learnt its lesson from the 1998 finals and would not be complacent when playing Belgium who are also a great footballing nation. I am sure Brazil will scrape through with a 2-0 win.
Anthony Bismarck Cobbinah, Ghana

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The long drought of victories is over for our beloved Red Devils
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As far as my British husband is concerned, being a good Belgian, I will indeed support my team. Although I wouldn't be that confident about a possible England/Belgium match, I can already reassure him that would it occur, it will only be WAR on that night. So prepare to sleep one night on the couch...
Anne-Sylvie, Belgium

Why not Brazil?? The long drought of victories is over for our beloved Red Devils!! With Wilmots and Sonck anything is possible!

It can be a great game against Brazil. If we see England in the quarter finals then I hope that another David doesn't eliminate us in the final minute.
Marko Victor,Belgium

For those of you living outside Brazil, you have not been exposed to one of the most lacklustre performances Brazil has produced in the last twenty years. They were lucky to qualify for the finals stage, having lost consecutively to Honduras, Ecuador and Paraguay in the qualification stages.

Their group matches could not have been easier. In Europe we view Brazilian football with awe. If you lived over here you see the other side. I feel a well organised Belgium side, playing with confidence, can frustrate Brazil and win. And I pray they do.
Alex Peters, England (living in Brazil)

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As a football worshiper and a Belgium supporter, this is a dream come true, a fantasy
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Pierre Lustygier, Belgium
Thanks to a great performance against Russia, we've managed to qualify for the second round. From now on, everything is possible: even beating Brazil, if Sonck and Mpenza play from the very first minute. A quarter-final against England? I don't see why not.
Erwin, Belgium

Why wouldn't we be able to send the Brazilians back to South-America? We did beat the Czech and Russians already! We do have a chance, 10% I guess. Next stop: Brazil, and after that we'll send the English back home.
Gert, Belgium

A mouth-watering prospect. I love watching Brazil. I can think of no reason however why Belgium should not hold Brazil if their nerves don't get to them.Turkey aren't special, and they virtually held Brazil and neutralised them.Costa Rica marched through them at will.Bring on the game......
Andrew Ray,England

A victory is highly unlikely. However, strange as it may seem I'm confident that it will be a great game with many, mark my word, many goals. But Brazil's talent and "heavy weaponry" should eventually make the difference. As a football worshiper and a Belgium supporter, this is a dream come true, a fantasy! I'm thrilled!! Gentlemen, let's play!!
Pierre Lustygier, Belgium

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This compact Belgian side may be overwhelmed by the sheer attacking prowess of the Samba boys
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Bobby Seagull, England
Those criticizing are team are mainly the press. The people still support the Devils! They're gonna have a tough time against Brazil, that's for sure. But even if they lose 10-0 they'll have a big welcome. Heck, they get it when they don't get through, and losing against Brazil is nothing bad. I think we'll be a worthy opponent and we'll go down gracefully. Of course, I still have a shot of hope. Alas, I've promised to run naked through the street if they win!
Peter, Belgium!!!!

Belgium can surely beat Brazil, but only if Wesley Sonck plays from the beginning! With some luck and a bad day for Brazil anything is possible! And against Russia, Mpenza was outstanding; he should always be in the eleven.
Joris Berger, Belgium

Given their current world ranking of 23, I'd say they have already exceeded expectations by getting to the last 16 and are rewarded with a glamour tie against the Brazilians. So who cares what language they all speak - Walem's free kick today and Wilmot's overhead against Japan is an international language we all understand. So "Allez Les Diables Rouges", "Vooruit de Rode Duivels", "Come on the Red Devils" - let's get behind our boys and enjoy the rest of the World Cup.
Steve Martindale, Belgium (English)

As the great Belgian side of 1986 showed, there is the quality in this country to make an impact on the world stage. Despite this, with Ronaldo rediscovering his Midas touch for goals, I fear that this compact Belgian side may be overwhelmed by the sheer attacking prowess of the Samba boys.
Bobby Seagull, England

A mouthwatering prospect. I love watching Brazil. I can think of no reason however why Belgium should not hold Brazil if their nerves don't get to them. Turkey aren't special, and they virtually held Brazil and neutralised them. Costa Rica marched through them at will. Bring on the game.
Andrew Ray, England

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Brazil may be too confident and Belgium... is Belgium
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Wim Swerts, Belgium
Watched the Belgium game at work in Brussels and thought that they deserved the win. In fact, they should have had it sewn up in the first half. On paper, Brazil should win - however, the Costa Ricans proved that Brazil are susceptible at the back so if Wilmots and his team can find a gap at the back, they may well turn Brazil over.
Andy, England

I'm an Aussie living in Belgium and I'm shocked by the criticism many Belgians are giving their team. Your team from a country of 10 million people are in the World Cup...just getting there is a feat. Support them, don't bash them.
Aaron, Belgium

As a proud Belgian I think our nation should be ashamed of the lack of interest and support our team has been getting, especially from the Flemish press! I have been soaking up the English atmosphere for the last couple of weeks and the optimism that surrounds this country following their team should be an example to all Belgians.

Belgium always get a result when they need it.They've done it many times before and they will do it again. Maybe against Brazil?Brazil may be too confident and Belgium... is Belgium.
Wim Swerts, Belgium

Absolutely awful. The most boring team in the World Cup! The Aston Villa of International football!!
Chris Locke, England

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Our nation should be ashamed of the lack of interest and support our team has been getting
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If the Brazilians give away as many chances as in their game against Costa Rica, anything can happen. Moreover, Belgium don't lose very often, especially in World Cup finals. It is ready to repeat the 1986 performance.
Peter Goos, Belgium

How exciting, the Red Devils are back on track! Brazil on Monday and then, well, home I guess.
Alexander "the Walloon" Rawlinson, England

There you go, that's more like it. No more criticism now I presume. We might not have all world class players, so if we want to get anywhere we'll have to do it collectively by sticking together. I wish the press could play towards the same goal as well. Go out there with the same enthusiasm against the Brazilians. You've got nothing to lose. Fight like true devils again, one for all, all for one!
Didier, Belgium/England

Good grief! Talk about negativity. You've just qualified. I guess that if you win the World Cup you will still complain about something. Lighten up guys!!
Jon, Belgium

If Belgium have come this far, there's no reason why they shouldn't beat Brazil. After all, none of the top teams have been predictable so far have they?
Jean Longmuir, United Kingdom

YES we made it. This proves that Belgium are NOT a bad team. Japan and Tunisia were difficult opponents for the devils because of their football style. But teams like Russia we can beat and we did just that. Against Brazil it won't be easy but now we have nothing to lose. Our World Cup campaign is already a success, it can only get better!

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Go out there with the same enthusiasm against the Brazilians
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Didier, Belgium/England
Waseige did a great job; I can't understand why he's receiving so much criticism. When our team needs backup and support, a lot of supporters just criticise. Come on, we are a little country, without superstars and great technicians, but combative and unified. This must be an example for the spirit in our country. Be proud of your country, it deserves it! And now let's beat Brasil!
Greg, Belgium

Confidence is sky-high and if there is ever a time for Belgium to beat Brazil, it's NOW! Don't forget - Brazil were superb in 1982 in Spain but left the door open for Paolo Rossi to score three goals. After today's super performance (first time we scored three goals in the final stage since 1990) my heart says Belgium, my head .... hurts - big-time!!
Stephen D'Arcy, Belgium

With all due respect, I strongly doubt that the Belgian team can beat the Samba boys, considering that their defenders seem even shakier than Brazil's but they got no Ronaldo, Rivaldo etc.
Clairton, Brazil

Belgium always have trouble against 'little' teams (Tunisia, Luxembourg etc). But when it comes to impossible mission, they always amaze us with their resources (ask the French, or the Czechs and now the Russians) So I think that we can beat Brazil. I do not say we will, but we can. Wait and see.
Philippe, Belgium

Frankly I don't think we have any chance against Ronaldo & co. But just facing such a great team for the first time in a World Cup makes this tournament a success for our squad.
Steven, Belgium

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My heart says Belgium, my head .... hurts - big-time!!
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Stephen D'Arcy, Belgium
The game against Russia showed some signs of hope, but yet again with a slender lead they sat back and let the Russians come to them. Finally with two (well judged) substitutions they pushed forward again. They deserved victory and as an Englishman married to a Belgian, peace will be kept in my household.... until England v Belgium at the end of next week!
Haydn, Belgium

Guys! Why was everyone so negative? We really have good players AND we score goals in every game!! That's an indication for me that we do have a good team, only sometimes speed and stamina are the main problems in our defence, hence the draws and the thrilling game against Russia! And Brazil: not a chance frankly!
Tom Deblauwe, Belgium

Once again Belgium excelled in serving up the most boring football imaginable!
Olbolos, Kenya

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