Sports

Young and with proven track record in Europe: Belgium looks like good bet as top outsider

  • Belgium's national soccer team players Kevin De Bruyne, center, and Anthony Vanden Borre, right, practice during their last training in Belgium before leaving for Brazil at the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels, Sunday June 8, 2014. Belgium will play against South Korea, Russia and Algeria in Group H of the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

    Belgium's national soccer team players Kevin De Bruyne, center, and Anthony Vanden Borre, right, practice during their last training in Belgium before leaving for Brazil at the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels, Sunday June 8, 2014. Belgium will play against South Korea, Russia and Algeria in Group H of the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)  (The Associated Press)

  • Belgium's national soccer team players Jan Vertonghen, left, Divock Origi, center, and Nacer Chadli warm up during their last training in Belgium before leaving for Brazil at the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels, Sunday June 8, 2014. Belgium will play against South Korea, Russia and Algeria in Group H of the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

    Belgium's national soccer team players Jan Vertonghen, left, Divock Origi, center, and Nacer Chadli warm up during their last training in Belgium before leaving for Brazil at the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels, Sunday June 8, 2014. Belgium will play against South Korea, Russia and Algeria in Group H of the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)  (The Associated Press)

  • Tunisia's Issam Jemaa, left, is challenged by Belgium's Vincent Kompany, during a friendly soccer match at the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels, Saturday, June 7, 2014.  Belgium will play against South Korea, Russia and Algeria in Group H of the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

    Tunisia's Issam Jemaa, left, is challenged by Belgium's Vincent Kompany, during a friendly soccer match at the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels, Saturday, June 7, 2014. Belgium will play against South Korea, Russia and Algeria in Group H of the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)  (The Associated Press)

Every World Cup has one of them: an outsider that you cannot help but like as it overachieves, often right into the semifinals. Sometimes even beyond.

This time, what is there not to like about young Belgium? The Red Devils have reached their first World Cup since 2002, but has a team full of players that have already made a mark in the Premier League and La Liga.

Belgium is among the youngest of the 32 teams at an average age of 25 years, 11 months, but its players are unlikely to crumble under pressure. And in a first-round Group H with Algeria, Russia and South Korea, they should be able to advance to the knock-stage where national history can be made in the span of 90 minutes.

Midfielder Steven Defour says "we are full of confidence heading to Brazil."