Still smarting from France loss, Belgium ready for Euros
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — With the sting of another World Cup disappointment still fresh and an obligatory match remaining, Belgium is already weighing how much it will have to remake its roster to finally win a major title.
France’s 1-0 semifinal defeat of the Red Devils could be the last World Cup match — apart from Saturday’s dreaded third-place game — for some veteran Belgians.
Coach Roberto Martinez now must build on Belgium’s best World Cup showing since the country lost another semifinal to Diego Maradona-led Argentina in 1986. This Belgium generation had its high hopes of going even further shattered by French defender Samuel Umtiti’s second-half headed goal Tuesday in St. Petersburg.
“As it happens in any big tournament, you need to look at the younger generations and try to become stronger,” he said after the loss. “From tournament to tournament, that’s the drive and the ambition. Belgian football has got a wealth of young talent coming through.”