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Confident Belgium Thrill The Hipsters

It has almost become de rigueur for the top clubs in European football to feature or covet a Belgian international player.

And the Benelux Diables Rouges have certainly surpassed Spain to become the most hipster team in international football, in the race to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Belgium have not qualified for a major international tournament for more than ten years, but their golden generation of young players could set that statistic right soon.

They welcome tricky Serbia on Friday night in a World Cup qualifier which could go a long way towards booking their ticket to Brazil.

They currently lead Group A of Uefa qualifying on goal difference from Croatia, who are ranked fourth in the world.

A win over Serbia would give Belgium even more confidence than they already have, as they bid to make their mark on international football.

Ahead of the game, Belgium’s Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, Jan Vertonghen, exemplified the good vibes running through their camp.

"Individually, only Germany and Spain are better than us," he said.

And while coach Marc Wilmots has warned that Belgium cannot get ahead of themselves, he too is infused with confidence.

"Having ambition is good. Germany and Italy go to every World Cup with the goal of reaching the final. That's the right spirit," he said.

When you cast an eye over Belgium's extravagance of riches, it’s hard not to share their confidence that a Belgian dawn is afoot.

Perhaps their only weakness is in central defence, where rock-hard skipper, Vincent Kompany, must make do alongside veteran Daniel van Buyten, or a player drafted in from fullback.

But when you consider that Thibaut Courtois- La Liga’s best goalkeeper for Copa del Rey champions Atletico Madrid last season- cannot even make the starting line-up, Belgium’s strength in depth is laid bare.

Sunderland star, Simon Mignolet holds court in goal, behind a backline with household names Kompany, Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Thomas Vermaelen.

In midfield, Eden Hazard, Marouane Fellaini and Mousa Dembele run the show, with top-quality deputies like Steven Defour and Axel Witsel to share the burden.

And in attack, PSV star Dries Mertens is the oldest player at 26, with rivals for a starting berth like Christian Benteke, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin de Bruyne and Kevin Mirallas.

They may not have booked their place in Brazil yet, but Belgium’s glittering line-up seemingly has what it takes to stake their claim as one of Europe’s hottest contenders.

And football hipsters around the world would love to see them shake up the sport’s current Spanish status quo.

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