Belgian manager Marc Wilmots laid the blame on the makeshift defence for the loss against Wales in the Euro 2016 quarter-finals.
Belgium had a great opportunity to reach the semifinals of the competition and that this golden generation can perform when it matters the most. Questions have been raised about the mental strength of the golden generation, which features the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, and Thomas Vermaelen. The latter has missed majority of the campaign and it was not surprising to see him unable to feature at the Euro 2016 due to injury.
Wilmots was sceptical about the availability of Vermaelen for the tournament, but Belgium were handed major injury blows just prior to the Euro 2016. The likes of Manchester City captain and defender Vincent Kompany’s failed to make it to the tournament was one of the biggest blows. Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen was yet another injury casualty but midway through the campaign. All these injuries – especially in the defence – forced Wilmots to field a makeshift defence against one of the surprising teams of Euro 2016 – Wales. A 3-1 defeat – despite taking an early lead through Nainggolan – saw Belgium exit the tournament with Wilmots blaming the defence as a major reason.
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