Football in Belgium through the lens of the World Cup (1930-2018)

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Pascal Delwit, Jean-Michel De Waele and Grégory Sterck
Soccer and Society


Belgium, a small country in the centre of Europe, is a country with many historical divisions: linguistic, religious and political. Sport has historically been organized along these dividing lines. While national sentiment proved weak historically, it is interesting to analyse the effects of the careers of the national football team which played in 1986 in Mexico City. In recent years, thanks to a golden generation, the national team has achieved unexpected success. At a time when the existence of the country is being questioned by a significant part of the population in the north of the country, will the good results of the Red Devils save the country or consolidate a weak national feeling?