The recent transfers of Eden Hazard and Axel Witsel to Chelsea and Zenit St. Petersburg, respectively, for $50 million each underscored the value of Belgian players on the international market. Indeed, more money was spent on Red Devils this summer than players from any country expect Brazil and Spain, but they say it is too early to talk of a "golden generation."
Red Devils play key roles at several English clubs. The captains at both Manchester City (Vincent Kompany) and Arsenal (Thomas Vermaelen) are Belgians, and Tottenham spent $35 million on Moussa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen.
Striker Romelu Lukaku, who joined West Bromwich Albion on loan from Chelsea, says the Red Devils haven't achieved anything yet. "We have to keep both feet on the ground," he said. "If we do better than the team of '86, then you can talk of us as the golden era. We will have to see in a few years."
Belgium finished second at the 1980 European Championship and fourth at the 1986 World Cup but has not played in a major tournament since the 2002 World Cup.