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Lukaku, De Bruyne and the unknown danger. Who is this Belgium? – Observer



Lukaku, De Bruyne and the unknown danger.  Who is this Belgium?  - Observer

leader rating FIFA Belgium is Portugal’s next contender for Euro 2020. Unlike the national team, which had yet to be counted in Group F, the Belgians did it. “Clean” first phase, with three wins in the same number of games. Russia, Denmark and Finland fell victim to the Belgians, who comfortably took first place in Group B with seven goals scored and one conceded.

Belgium, which Portugal has not lost since 1990, has not lost 12 games (since October 2020) and promises to be a tough contender. it’s yours Key Features.

Eden Hazard, Lukaku or De Bruyne. Finding the best players in the Belgium national team is not difficult, and mainly due to the individual characteristics and combinations between them during the game, the team creates a great danger. De Bruyne (with former Benfica player Axel Witsel assisting in the midfield) is a relay of the Belgian game that has already opened some difficult moments in this European football. Lukaku to be a reference point in the attack. Striker typology is one of Belgium’s greatest weapons, with the unknown Eden Hazard who, even out of shape in times past, can always make a genius move to make a difference.

what to explore

With a goal from the giant Courtois, the weaker side of the Belgians is on the defensive. On the flanks, Meunier is a little more defensive, while Carrasco (or Thorgan Hazard) plays a little higher on the left. On this side, but on the line of three centers, is Vertonghen, the Benfica player, who no longer has the speed as before. At the center of the defense is Denayer, whose ability to go out and play is sometimes questionable, as he has already shown. The speed and creativity of national players can be critical before it is protection.

To understand

The current highlight of the Belgium national team, without much doubt, is Lukaku. The Inter striker often plays as a “pivot”, taking the ball with his back to the goal, and, in addition to being dangerous when hitting the goal, it is useful to distribute it to his colleagues. But Lukaku not only excels in positional play. The player’s speed and brute strength are intimidating to any defense, and with space it’s a real puzzle. This will be Fernando Santos’ great dilemma: how to get depth from an Inter player without going too far so that Kevin de Bruyne can play in areas closer to the area where he can be more critical.


He is 19 years old and looked in great shape in the last Belgium group stage match against Finland. Rennes striker Jeremy Doku senses a nuance in his game that the players are beginning to miss. It’s creative, fast and unafraid of the competition. It’s hard to play with this Belgian team full of talent and experience, but if you need to shake it up, the cloth this is a man. And the meetings he had in the race strengthened that status.


Belgium usually line up in 3x4x3 but no return is too far away. He considers himself a big team, builds with three centers wide open and seeks help in the center, in Witsel and De Bruyne, or on the lines in Meunier and Carrasco (or Thorgan Hazard), or even in longer passes to Lukaku. The two players who support the Inter striker usually play very mobile, but everything will largely depend on Eden Hazard. If the team captain plays and will always play from the line to the middle, almost like a “vagabond”, Carrasco or Thorgan Hazard will make the entire left flank. If he stays on the bench, as he did in the first two games, he will line up with Carrasco and Torgan behind him, resulting in more vertical play and speed.

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Roberto Martinez, 47-year-old Spanish coach, helmsman of the Belgian team. He led the team in 2016 and has a very interesting record: 46 wins in 59 games. A former mid-career player, it was at Swansea that he started making a name for himself in 2006/2007, jumping three seasons at Wigan. Kept the club in the Premier League for three seasons, failing to avoid relegation in 2013. However, this did not stop him from advancing in his career and moving to Everton. In two seasons, he finished fifth in the Premier League in 2013/2014, and the following season, the Liverpool club finished 11th in the FA Championship. He leaves in 2015 and joins the Belgium national team the following year.

What they say

Some Belgian newspapers have already reacted to the “luck” in their places… O The Latest News, por exemplo, diz que a Bélgica tem de ser “giant killer” if you want to destroy Portugal by highlighting the “duel” that will take place between Pepe and Lukaku. By the way, if you look at the round of 16 standings, it promises to be a big clash of the round.

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Benfica Chaves League Preview by Roger Schmidt




ABOUT Benfica returns to competition, after a break from national team commitments, with the reception of Chaves this Friday, March 29, at 18:00 at the Estadio da Luz, in the game of the 27th round of the championship. Betkliche League.

Already preliminary press conferencewhich took place on the Benfica campus, Roger Schmidt emphasized that the team is in good shape meet with Chaveza rival who has nothing to lose when faced with the threat of relegation.

At the start of the decisive stage of the season, the coach remembered and praised that the Reds were still fighting for three trophies (Betklić League, Portuguese Taça and Europa League) and this was necessary. “We must use this opportunity and this moment to accelerate our highest level in everything.“, emphasized Roger Schmidt, distinguished Coach's Award at the ceremony dedicated to the 120th anniversary of the Club.

Roger Schmidt

“We are in good shape, the first game is always demanding, but we are ready to play it.”

Roger Schmidt

What was it like preparing for this game against Chavez without any international players?

It was a typical international break, some players were with their teams, and I think it was a good opportunity for us to rest a bit and then get back to training. We did it very well and are excited to play again. Playing at home after the national team break is always a good start. All the national team players returned in good shape, a little tired, but without injuries. I'm happy with that, my biggest fear is always that they will get injured. We are in good shape, the first match is always demanding, but we are ready to play it. The decisive phase of the season begins and everything we have done over the last eight or nine months of this season had to be prepared for these weeks. We have six or seven weeks left to play, we still have three competitions to play and it really is a special season. When you can still win three trophies at the end of March, it's a very good season. Our task is to use this opportunity and this moment to accelerate to the highest level in everything. So, anything is possible. We have this expectation. For tomorrow [sexta-feira, 29 de março]Chavez and I know that this team is always difficult to play against. They are facing relegation, they have nothing to lose at our stadium. This is a good team, they have a good coach, and we have to solve this problem.

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How did you feel when you left the Club’s 120th anniversary ceremony?

On Tuesday [26 de março], The gala was impressive. It always gives us a feeling of how great the Club is and how much love and passion there is in it. I'm always pleased to see that and how Benfica treats their history, former players and everything else. It's always something special and I'm so glad to be a part of it. We want to take this opportunity to please everyone around Benfica and within Benfica.

Roger Schmidt

“Playing at home after the international break is always good”

Are you considering resting Otamendi and Di Maria for this game against Chavez before the two matches against Sporting? Is Ba suitable?

Of course they could rest. The question is: “Would it be beneficial for them to rest?” Both players like to play consistently and quickly. Sometimes they need a rest, like I gave Angel a few times. [Di María], when he played a lot of games in a row and there were big games ahead of us. Sometimes it makes sense to keep them out, but they are both key players for us and have performed at the highest level all season. I always have to make a decision about what is best for us and the players. Are they ready to play at this pace? They have shown this over the last 15 years. Are you ready to return to the club after the national team games and play again? They have also shown this over the past 15 years. I have no doubt that they are ready for tomorrow. [sexta-feira], play. Alex Ba is fine, we still have a little problem with load management, he had a problem and we want to be careful that it doesn't happen again. He's fine now, it was good not to play for the national team, he trained again and we tried to rest him at the right time. He's ready to play.

Di Maria has been going through a turbulent time for several days now: he and his family have received death threats. Is the player 100% physically and mentally ready for this game and the rest of the season?

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What happened to him and his family shows how crazy the world is. It is catastrophic and catastrophic if something like this happens. It is clear that receiving such messages affects the player and the individual. We try to support him as best we can. He is professional and experienced enough to handle such situations, but such situations are completely difficult and rare, especially in a family. This is the worst thing that could happen, but we talked about it. He is trying to live a normal life. Of course, when something like this happens, some thoughts arise in your head, so we will try to support you as best we can.

Roger Schmidt

“It’s time for all of us to show a very good attitude and performance on the field.”

In the last game of the championship, he said that a player who does what Kökçu did cannot be in the team. So, have you spoken to him? Can we expect him to be in the team for this game against Chaves?

As I said during the challenge with Casa Pia [26.ª jornada], my concern was to focus on the game. It would have been better not to mention him in this interview. He returned today [quinta-feira], we talked about it and it was actually exactly what I expected. It was not his intention to create this noise and negativity around our team. I already said before and after the Casa Pia game that I have complete confidence in him as a player, in terms of quality and also in his character. You made a mistake, this interview did no good to anyone. It was not good for us, for him and for Benfica, that's very clear. Now we have to deal with this. Even when players make mistakes, they are still my players, and sometimes I have to support them in difficult times. This is what we have to do, we've talked about it and now it's time to talk about it on the pitch. It's time for all of us, not just him, to demonstrate a very good mentality and performance in field. Everything that is not good for us, that can distract our attention a little, should be excluded. We have resolved this situation domestically and it is time to look forward. I'll be back tomorrow with the team [sexta-feira].

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Kökçu was in the Turkish national team. Do you feel that your role in the national team is different from your role in Benfica?

I think I've said everything about Orkun. [Kökcü]. National teams and clubs are always different. These are different players, different tactical approaches. I don't think much about the choice. National team coaches have their own ideas, their own goals, and they must use the players as they see fit. I'm focused on what's happening here on our team, not just with Orkun. [Kökcü], but in general. Players who make it to national teams love to do it because it's a great honor for everyone. The national teams are preparing for summer competitions… These are two different things, and I am completely focused on the Club.

Roger Schmidt

“Everything we did over the last eight or nine months of this season had to be prepared for these weeks.”

As for Juan Bernat, who was seen in training, will he be fit enough to contribute by the end of the season?

All of us, including himself, expected a different season. He is a very experienced player. Unfortunately, he came in with a minor injury, but he recovered and played a few minutes for us in five or six matches. Not full games, but a few minutes. He has been injured since the end of October, for five months now. I think now is not the time to think too much about next season, we need to think about it. He's working hard to get back on the field. He returned to training with the team this week, the first time in five months he has returned and we hope that he stabilizes with the workload, the football load and, of course, that he makes an impact in the last six or seven years. weeks. This is his situation at the moment. We are on a good track and we hope it will have a good impact at the end of the season.

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″I couldn’t leave without winning this award″



″I couldn't leave without winning this award″

Statements from Otavio, the player of FC Porto, who this Monday received the Golden Dragon as Footballer of the Year.

Speech: “I thought and I didn’t say anything that I thought. It happened by itself, I’m very happy, I was looking for [o prémio] a lot of time. I saw others, I couldn’t leave without winning this prize. Thank God I won and now it’s time to make the most of it.”

Did you tell the President that you want the Golden Dragon? “I never commented, asking for an award was not my style, it was deserved, I was very happy, many could have won. I am very happy”.

Feeling: “This is something to be proud of, this is the best person in the club, everyone wants to win, this will go down in history. It will be kept under lock and key in the museum that I have. It will get worse.” , nothing will come of it, it will be well stored.

Gala: “It’s always great, because of covid-19, the gala concert has not been held for many years. It is always special, everyone wants to be part of the gala concert. Being a dragonado, he is even more special. We did a good job and this is proof.”

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″Most competitive costume required, Pepe’s costume″



″Most competitive costume required, Pepe's costume″

Statements by Sergio Conceiçao after receiving the Golden Coach of the Year award at the Golden Dragons Gala

Golden Dragon cost: “I represent many people in this Golden Dragon. The first time I went to Olival with the president in 2017, he named the four essential pillars of FC Porto: rigor, competence, ambition and passion. Looking at it and being with it every day. My players, who don’t usually wear a formal suit as they do today, but the most competitive suit that is required, which is Pepe’s suit, give me great joy when I get up and go to work.”

Technical team and others: “With a super competent technical team, a health department, where there is not only Dr. Nelson Puga and therapists, but also an optometrist, pedologist, a number of people who work daily so that the players do not miss anything. and so that year after year they can get better and win, which is what we want.”

Techniques: “Victory. Not forgetting the people in the kitchen, in the restaurant, the people involved in analysis and observation, the equipment technicians, because today everyone is a technician… [risos]🇧🇷 Lawn techniques too, because I am very picky about the height of the lawn. I think that every detail is important and matters. Finally, a number of people who contribute to making this possible. This is not mine, this belongs to the people of Olival, who are always led by our great, my friend and godfather, the president.”

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A family: “Finally, to paraphrase our Gonzalinho [Borges], I want to dedicate it completely to my family, which is not easy, and parents, as always. Not being among us, they will certainly be very proud, not least because they have received two more extremely important people in the life of the club and that together they are up there watching us so that FC Porto becomes bigger , was getting better. , become stronger and win. And let’s keep it up. Is always. Because we deserve it. We are also honest, serious, dedicated and competent workers.”

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