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Alternate History

Belgium National Football Team (An Earlier World Cup of Football)

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Belgium
Association Royal Belgian Football Association
Confederation UEFA
FIFA code BEL
FIFA ranking 10
Highest FIFA ranking 2 (1928, 1932)
Lowest FIFA ranking 10 (1938)
First international
Flag of Belgium Belgium 3-3 Flag of France France
(Brussels, Belgium; 1 May 1904)
Biggest win
Flag of Belgium Belgium 10-0 Flag of Switzerland Switzerland
(Antwerpen, Belgium; 19 February 1912)
Biggest defeat
Flag of Belgium Belgium 0-6 Flag of the Netherlands Netherlands
(Antwerp, Belgium; 19 March 1911)
FIFA World Cup
Appearances 6 (First in 1906)
Best result Winners, 1922


Olympic medal record
Men's Football
Gold medal blank 1920 Antwerp Team

The Belgium national football team represents Belgium in international association football. It is controlled by the Royal Belgian Football Association.

Belgium is one of four nations that have won the FIFA World Cup with their first title being in 1922 when they defeated Netherlands 2-1 in the final and also have won Olympic Gold in 1920.

History

Beginnings

Belgium first ever international match was against France in Brussels on the 1st of May 1904. For their opponents this was also their first international match as it was the first between two independent European countries. The match which had 1500 people watching it, ended in a 3-3 draw and the Évence Coppée Trophy was shared between the two nations. Twelve days later, France and Belgium joined five other national teams to form FIFA.

Belgium formed a rivalry with the Netherlands which spark the Low Countries derby which to this day is still a major rivalry in football matches to this day. Belgium was then one of the original twelve teams that competed in the first FIFA World Cup. The team though struggle in their group, losing to Argentina and Wales. In 1910, William Maxwell who was a former player for Scotland was assigned manager of Belgium as they finished runner up in the 1910 FIFA World Cup that was held in Austria. Maxwell would lead them in the next World Cup in England where Belgium would finish in fourth position after losing to the eventual runner up of England.

First titles

Heading into 1920, Belgium competed in their first Olympics at home soil. With them being predicted to win the gold, they went through to the final where they would take on the Netherlands. The match ending in a victory with Robert Coppée and Henri Larnoe scoring the two goals. Then two years later, the 1922 FIFA World Cup was held in the Netherlands and with the team getting a bye into the quarterfinals. They would capitalise on the bye with them being World Champions for the first time with their opponent once again being the Netherlands. They became the first team to win both the Summer Olympics and the FIFA World Cup title.

The success would be only short lived with the next tournament as they crashed in the quarterfinals stage by Egypt. Then at the 1926 FIFA World Cup, they were defeated by Austria which caused the retirement of Henri Larnoe after playing twenty-five matches for Belgium. The success was going when they got knocked out in the quarterfinals at the 1928 Summer Olympics before not qualifying for the World Cup in 1930 which was their first time not being in the finals.

Failure at regional

After not getting into the quarter finals of the 1932 Summer Olympics and just scraping through in the WEFF Championship to make into the play-offs. Belgium struggled to make a impact in Italy with their only win coming from the game against the Irish Free State and a tough draw against Italy.

Qualifying for the 1936 Summer Olympics meant that Belgium had to compete at a regional level to qualify. For them, they had to take on Switzerland, Spain and the Netherlands to make the knock-out stage. But Belgium didn't make a impact with the only point coming from the game against the Netherlands. In the 1937 WEFF Championship, the team failed to qualify out of the group stage as they only scored one point with Ray Braine being the only goal scorer for the team.

Rivalries

Main article: Belgium-Netherlands football rivalry

FIFA World Cup

     Gold       Silver       Bronze  

FIFA World Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA
France 1906 Group Stage 12th 2 0 0 2 0 5
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy 1910 Runner Up 2nd 4 2 1 1 9 4
England 1914 Semifinalist 4th 6 2 2 2 5 6

Netherlands 1922

Champions 1st 3 3 0 0 7 4
Flag of Spain (1785-1873 and 1875-1931) 1926 Quarterfinalist 8th 4 0 3 1 4 6
Uruguay 1930 Did Not Qualify
Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned 1934 Group Stage 10th 3 1 1 1 2 3
Flag of Argentina 1938 Did Not Qualify
Total Champions 6/8 20 11 4 5 34 16

Notes


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