Football: Belgium have the belief, style and substance

De Bruyne (above) has emerged as arguably the tournament's finest all-action playmaker, marrying driving runs with incisive passing and ferocious shooting.
De Bruyne (above) has emerged as arguably the tournament's finest all-action playmaker, marrying driving runs with incisive passing and ferocious shooting.PHOTO: REUTERS
PHOTO: REUTERS

Their ability to play and win in a variety of ways makes them very dangerous opponents for France

The roadblock on the path to glory seemed huge.

Belgium had landed themselves in the wrong half of the draw. They faced the tournament favourites, the five-time World Cup winners. They duly beat Brazil.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 10, 2018, with the headline 'Red devils have belief, style and substance'. Print Edition | Subscribe