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'Belgium Benefit From The EPL'

12 of the Belgian squad who beat Croatia on Friday to secure their nation’s passage to Brazil 2014 play in the English Premier League.

The tiny Benelux state of Belgium is on a rapid rise up the Fifa world rankings and could be dark horses for at least a quarter-final spot at the World Cup next year.

Traditionally, European sides do not fare well in South America and Spain, who had many EPL players in their squad during their initial rise to dominance, are probably the most likely of the European qualifiers to succeed there next year.

But Belgium are inspired by a young generation of fearless stars, who could be the first to buck the trend.

Two of their England based players, Jan Vertonghen and Kevin De Bruyne, say that having so many players in the EPL has certainly had a positive impact on Belgium’s improving fortunes on the global stage.

Vertonghen stars in defence for upwardly mobile Tottenham Hotspur, while De Bruyne is busting a gut to prove he has what it takes to make it in Chelsea’s star studded line-up.

Both of them are adamant that English football has been great for the Diables Rouges.

"In the last couple of years our players have developed in the great leagues, especially in England. Every single position is doubled up," Vertonghen said according to Soccernet, as Belgium celebrated booking their ticket to Brazil.

"Playing in the Premier League brings with it experience; before, we all played in the smaller leagues, now we play in the Premier League.

"With the experience we gain we are capable of playing in the big games as we showed against Croatia."

De Bruyne meanwhile, added: "The Premier League is probably the best in the world so if you have a lot of players who play well there, it’s normal that they are going to grow as players.”

Read: Belgium Are Storming World Football

Read: Belgium Qualify For World Cup

Vote: Do you think Belgium can spring a few surprises in Brazil next year?

Belgium Qualify For World Cup

Belgium Are Storming World Football

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