The night at Kazan was one of the most memorable ones in the history of Belgian Football when the Red Devils knocked Brazil out of the World Cup and advanced to the semifinals. Their attacking and fluid football made them the favourites against France in the semifinals, but France were more compact and it needed a goal from Samuel Umtiti to seal the match.
The Red Devils ended as the third-best side in the competition and since then their ascendency in World Football has been inspiring for the next generation.
Still, the desired achievements have not arrived yet and after the generation of Enzo Scifo and Jan Ceulemans, this unit is the best for sure, but to claim as the best of all, a trophy in a big event is a must. The World Cup in Russia could not be achieved but the Euros must be won.
“Everybody is still upset about losing to France at the World Cup,” Jordan Lukaku, the younger brother of Romelu Lukaku, told Goal.
“I wasn’t surprised we beat Brazil, but I felt like France set up to stop us rather than go toe-to-toe with us. Of course, they had world-class players.”
“We know we are good and can be great, but we need to go out and prove it by winning a title. If we had beaten France, I think we would have won (the World Cup), so it is regret.”
“You know that people are counting on you and it is a kind of pressure, but the term ‘golden generation’ comes more from fans and media. There might be more on this one now as the time may be running out on this group.”
Lukaku, who has eight caps under his belt for Belgium, was part of the squad which reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 and has seen close-up the abilities of talismanic attackers Hazard and De Bruyne.
“Eden has so much ability. He leads the team without saying too much, he’s a technical or silent leader,” says Lukaku.
“He can carry a team on his back like he did at Chelsea and he did it with the national team. It was incredible.”
“Kevin [De Bruyne] is like that too. I have known about him for a long time because my brother has been facing him since a long time ago in the youth leagues in Belgium. I played against Kevin and he was just amazing.”
Romelu Lukaku, meanwhile, has gone on to become the all-time top scorer for Belgium and will be the key to any chance of success that they will have in the tournament.
“When we were kids we were competitive against each other. It is really special because my brother broke through and I had an opportunity to play for the first team after that. It’s a relief when you make it after so many years.”
“We also wanted to help out our parents as we weren’t doing financially well in our family as kids. It was rough so we were motivated for more. It’s not normal to have two from a family make it.”
Lukaku senior has scored 60 goals in 93 international appearances and netted 30 goals in all competitions last season for Inter as they claimed a first Serie A title in more than a decade.
“I am so happy for him at Inter because he was chasing that title for so long,” says Jordan.
“He really wanted to be a champion again.”
“I see how he works towards his goals so I was really happy for him. He wanted to end that winning streak of Juventus and that’s what they did.”