The Belgium national football team[c] officially represents Belgium in men international football since their maiden match in 1904. The squad is under the global jurisdiction of FIFA and is governed in Europe by UEFA—both of which were co-founded by the Belgian team's supervising body, the Royal Belgian Football Association. Periods of regular Belgian representation at the highest international level, from 1920 to 1938, from 1982 to 2002 and again from 2014 onwards, have alternated with mostly unsuccessful qualification rounds. Most of Belgium home matches are played at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels.
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The Belgian national football team has officially represented Belgium in men's international football since its first match in 1904. The team is under the worldwide jurisdiction of FIFA and managed in Europe by UEFA - both co-founded by the governing body watchdog of the Belgian team, the Royal Belgian Football Association. Periods of Belgium's regular representation at the highest international level, from 1920 to 1938, from 1982 to 2002 and from 2014 onwards, alternated with mostly unsuccessful qualifying matches. Most of Belgium's home games are played at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels.
Belgium was one of the first countries in continental Europe to join the Football Association. His practice in Belgium began on October 26, 1863, when an Irish student walked into Mailer's Joseph College with a bullet. Originally an elite pastime, association football replaced rugby as the most popular football sport in Belgium in the following decades. On 1 September 1895, ten football, athletics, cricket and cycling clubs formed the Belgian sports committee Union Belge des Sociétés de Sports Athlétiques (UBSSA); a year later, the UBSSA organizes the first annual Belgian football league.
FIFA World Cup
Belgium has failed to qualify in the first round of their previous five World Cup appearances. After two scoreless defeats at the first World Cup in 1930, the team scored in first-round knockouts in 1934 and 1938, but it was enough to save their honor. In 1954 they drew with England (4-4 after extra time) and in 1970 they won their first World Cup match against El Salvador (3-0).
UEFA European Championship
With only six successful qualifiers out of sixteen, Belgium's performance in the European Championships can't match the World Cup record, but it does hold the record when compared to World Cup performances. . Belgium hosted or co-hosted the event twice; they were chosen from among three candidates to host Euro 1972, and hosted Euro 2000 with the Netherlands.
At Euro 1972, Belgium finished third after losing 2-1 to West Germany and beating Hungary 2-1. The team's best result in continental Europe was a second-place finish at Euro 1980 in Italy. Belgium advanced to the final as the top of the group, facing West Germany. West German Horst Hrubesch scored first, but René Vandereycken equalized from the penalty spot. Hrubesch scored again two minutes before the end of regular minutes to cost Belgium their first European title.
Football at the Summer Olympics
The senior men's national team football was played at the six Summer Olympics from 1908 to 1936. The Belgian team played in all three Olympic football games in the 1920s and retained the gold medal domestically in the 1920s. In addition to the national team itself, two other Belgian delegations were featured at the Olympics. At the 1900 Summer Olympics, the Belgian team, made up mostly of students, won bronze, and at the 2008 Olympics, Belgium placed fourth in the U-23 trials.
Another former Chelsea player made the cut. Before joining Chelsea, De Bruyne started his career with Belgian side Genk. However, after struggling with London, the player moved to the Bundesliga, where he matched up well with Wolfsburg. His performances earned him Germany's Player of the Year award before signing for Manchester City in 2015.
Romelu Lukaku has built a reputation as a goalscorer and streak finisher over the years. In August 2011, Lukaku drew attention with an impressive performance for Anderlecht in the Belgian Pro League, and he completed a move to Premier League giants Chelsea.
Vincent Kompany came into the limelight at a young age, taking the Belgian league by storm as a teenager. The Belgian caught the attention of the whole of Europe during his time at Anderlecht, winning Belgium's Golden Boot as a teenager and leading Belgium to two league titles.