In football, you’re always moving ahead. There’s little to no time to reflect on good or bad performances in the past. You have to keep thinking about the next game, and the next, and the next. Here’s how I look forward to playing for our country.
But first, let’s take a look back at our UEFA 2020 campaign. Obviously, I’m disappointed that we didn’t get further than the quarter-finals at the European Championship in June. This team always aspires to reach the highest level. But at the top, sometimes it’s the details that decide which team goes through and which doesn’t. Unfortunately, we didn’t. There’s not a single person to blame. I can honestly say that the whole group gave everything and was very motivated. Now we must analyse our own performance as we did as a team.
I’m looking forward to a tight schedule next week. It’s safe to say we are up for a test. Playing three games in one week is a lot, but we’re determined to make every match count. A few days after our international break, there’s a LaLiga match against Celta de Vigo. Three days later, we will face Inter de Milán and kick off our Champions League campaign. In between, we have to travel, recuperate and prepare for the next match. With a full calendar ahead, I believe the decision-makers need to listen to the players. Pressure to perform is never a problem for me, but our bodies need the time to rest. Sometimes, that is not taken enough into consideration.
Hopefully, we will have the World Cup within reach next year after the three upcoming matches against Estonia, the Czech Republic, and Belarus. Our ultimate goal is to qualify as soon as possible. If we succeed, we can fully concentrate on the final round of the Nations League in October.
The World Cup in 2022 will be a puzzle too. It will be played in November and December, which is quite revolutionary. I’m already curious as to what next season’s calendar will look like. There will not be fewer matches, but I do see a positive side to it. With the tournament taking place quite early, most of the players will still be fresh. I dare to hope that this will be an advantage for Belgium. But let’s take things one step at a time and focus on winning the next three matches in a row. For Belgium!