Belgium versus France in the semi-finals: it brings back memories.
With a different League on the line in the middle of the season, I’m sure it will be a completely different game than three years ago.
I will soon be heading to the semi-final round of the Nations League in Italy with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I’m looking forward to playing with my fellow Devils and competing for this trophy. But on the other hand, it feels strange to possibly win a Cup with the national team right in the middle of the season. Usually, a final round follows after the season. But we have completed quite a few LaLiga matches in a short period, and the Champions League started not that long ago. Therefore, the focus is entirely different from starting a tournament after the season and in the summer.
That being said, we are going to do everything we can to qualify for the finals. Then, we’ll focus on winning! We want to be the ones waving the Cup in the air. It will not be easy for Belgium with competitors like France, Spain, and Italy. All four are extremely strong and capable of winning the final round. Without real group preparations like we would typically have, details will play an important role in the upcoming games. Which players are available? What shape will they be in when joining their national team? How will they digest that many matches in such a short period? Only time and hard work will tell who will come out on top.
Of course, I have not forgotten the defeat we suffered against France in the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup. We were so close. It's true that we were disappointed and frustrated at the time, but I have no hard feelings about it. I really don't. That was almost 3.5 years ago. Even though both are semi-finals, you can’t compare a World Cup final to the final round of the Nations League. If we win this League, we won’t be able to celebrate en masse on the Grand Place in Brussels as we did in 2018. On the contrary, the day after the tournament, we have to report back to our respective clubs. Any possible celebration will be on the field and in the locker room. But to be completely honest, I don’t think about that. Beating World Champion France is the first task to focus on. Come on, Red Devils!