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 Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Yesterday, 18:52
Spurs Ladies forward Bianca Baptiste (right). Pic: Clive Jones

Spurs Ladies won a cup double last season and forward Bianca Baptiste would love to go one better and secure a treble this term – but she believes the focus should be on the league and a top-three finish.

Yesterday, 18:35
Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette

Lyon have refuted reports that they have received a second bid from Arsenal for star striker Alexandre Lacazette.

Yesterday, 15:14
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino has shown his willingness to put his faith in Tottenham’s youngsters on plenty of occasions, and they will usually thank him for it.

Yesterday, 07:30
North London players celebrate a wicket from Jordan Gregory in their five-run win against Brentham. Pic: Max Flego

Captain Sam Bardon has urged North London to maintain the impetus of their seven-match unbeaten run as they prepare to face the top two sides in Middlesex County League Division Three.

Mon, 17:06
Joel Hughes has taken 100 wickets for North Middlesex in the Premier Division. Pic: Paolo Minoli

North Middlesex secured their fourth straight Premier Division victory after beating second-placed Teddington by two runs – and captain Tom Nicoll believes the strength of his side’s bowling attack means they have a shot at the title.

Mon, 15:24
Brondesbury captain Adam Wilson (centre), pictured against Hornsey. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Brondesbury slipped out of the promotion spots after a four-wicket defeat at Harrow St Mary’s – and Hornsey were unable to capitalise as they drew with Indian Gymkhana.

Mon, 14:47
Ragheb Aga (right) hit an unbeaten 65 for Hampstead. Pic: Max Flego

Ragheb Aga struck a crucial unbeaten 65 as Hampstead narrowly overcame basement boys Eastcote and moved out of the Premier Division relegation zone.

Mon, 07:14
Middlesex's Eoin Morgan

Eoin Morgan feels Middlesex’s impressive County Championship form has been a key factor in their recent improvement in white-ball cricket.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

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

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now