Search

Belgium expects ahead of World Cup but Spurs star Dembele warns against complacency

11:59 05 June 2014

Tottenham and Belgium midfielder Mousa Dembele: "We can see that the country’s behind us and it’s unbelievable."

Tottenham and Belgium midfielder Mousa Dembele: "We can see that the country’s behind us and it’s unbelievable."

EMPICS Sport

Exclusive: Mousa Dembele says there is a real sense of anticipation in Belgium ahead of this summer’s World Cup, given the talent in the squad – and he feels complacency is one of the biggest threats.

The Red Devils failed to qualify in 2006 and 2010 but this time they are among the eight seeded teams after being listed fifth in Fifa’s world rankings in October.

That is no surprise, given that Belgium boast the likes of Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Vincent Kompany, Marouane Fellaini, Thomas Vermaelen, Kevin Mirallas, Adnan Januzaj and goalkeepers Thibaut Courtois and Simon Mignolet – plus the Tottenham contingent of Dembele, Jan Vertonghen and Nacer Chadli.

They won eight of their 10 qualifying games to finish nine points ahead of their nearest challengers, Croatia, and Dembele said: “Of course everybody’s very excited at home. Everybody can see that it’s a huge difference from two years ago.

“We can see that the country’s behind us and it’s unbelievable. I never saw this, of course it’s the first World Cup that I’m maybe going to be in. The country is behind us.”

Belgium’s hopes have been boosted by the fact that they have been placed in a relatively easy group with Algeria, Russia and South Korea.

But Dembele said: “That’s the dangerous thing about this. Of course we’re happy that we could have got more difficult teams to play against, but still it’s a World Cup.

“Anything can happen, like Greece winning the European Championship, so we respect everyone and we have to respect ourselves as well to do everything we can.

“I’m very happy to be in the squad. Sometimes we hang out with the other Belgians in London. They have different programmes than us, but sometimes we do that. Of course there are three Belgians at Tottenham so we chill together.

“I’m excited about playing, because everybody knows we have a very good squad and we can do something if everybody’s fit.”

That is an important caveat because Belgium have already lost Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke to injury after he ruptured his achilles tendon in April. Fortunately, they have another similarly powerful forward.

“Of course Benteke’s very important for us so it’s really a shame for us and everybody’s with him, but we have a lot of good players,” said Dembele. “Lukaku is unbelievable as well so let’s hope we can do something good out there.”

Dembele could well find himself lining up against a fellow Tottenham midfielder when Belgium face Algeria, who are expected to have Nabil Bentaleb in their ranks.

“I think everyone can confirm that Nabil’s an unbelievable player, so it’s going to be difficult for us,” said Dembele. “We know his quality but still we have a lot of quality as well. I’m going to try to give him a headache if I play against him.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Sport Stories

15:26
Brondesbury's Jordan Bethel was the top scorer in the match with 68. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Brondesbury’s run of three consecutive defeats is a distant memory after the Harman Drive side picked up their third win on the bounce to move up into fourth place in Division Two of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

12:09
Hampstead Ladies bat against Finchley

Hampstead Ladies got off to a winning start in the new Development League after a 24-run victory over Finchley.

Yesterday, 16:46
Hashen Ramanyake scored 96 and took four wickets for Highgate in their win over Kenton. Pic: Max Flego

Hashen Ramanayake and Ed Foster bowled Highgate to victory as the Division Three table-toppers stretched their lead to a commanding 22 points in the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Most read sport

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

You could be zooming around a track of your choice!

Are you a competitive adrenaline junkie with a need for speed? Or looking for a fun family day out?

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder