Talk:Belgium national football team

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Featured article Belgium national football team is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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British English in this article[edit]

Nowadays more native English speakers speak American English than British English, but for the following reasons (only) British English is to be preferred in this article:

  • The roots of association football are British
  • Consistency
  • (To a minor extent: ) The UK is a lot closer to Belgium than the US are, and in the same continent

If you happen to find American English words in this article, please replace them with an alternative that is valid in UK English. Thank you, Kareldorado (talk) 11:25, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

Results and fixtures[edit]

I can't say I like that this section has been moved off the page... I understand WP:RECENT, but there's also the argument of how relevant recent information may be to a certain topic. At least, I don't think those three bullet points at the top of WP:RECENT apply to this section in this article.

I checked about 80 other national team's pages, and only a few don't have recent matches/fixtures information: Gabon, Scotland, Wales and Peru (if you don't count historical teams). Some countries do mention it in 'shorter' ways though: Greece has an empty section with a "Main article: " link. Austria, Montenegro, Norway and Northern Ireland only show the Euro 2016 Group table, without separate information for those matches (which 'automatically' keeps it up to date; although N Ireland does separately mention Friendlies). Similar for Uruguay in its own region.

In any case, that's over 70 other pages (including all of the larger football countries) that always have a full dedicated "Results and fixtures" section. I didn't check all their article quality rates, but since almost all pages do it, it should be an indication of what people may expect to be present on a national team's Wikipedia page. I know Peru is a FA-rated article (without that 'recent information'), but on first impression, it really makes me wonder whether that team is actually still active today. In fact, it's not very consistent that it (and Belgium) does have recent information about the players, but not about the matches. — Sygmoral (talk) 19:10, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Yes... this is a tricky one. Often I considered it as normal to have the Recent Results section, but there are some things to consider:
The advantages of having them at another page are:
  • a 'thinner' main page,
  • not having to change the main page so often, and
  • not having to move the matches to the results page now and then.
I saw that Scotland and Perú's page - the only featured articles - do not have such a section.
The main (and only) disadvantage is the less immediate (and obvious) access to recent results. However, I also regret this a bit for the Scotland and Peru pages.
Even though I am often busy with this page, I do not own it, so sure we can take the section back. If I am right, once there was an objection to the Recent Results section in one of the two articles that was in the flow for "featured article", and in a reaction the responsible editors did away with it. Ok, perhaps we can take it back for now and raise the issue again if the article becomes FAC ("on a beautiful day"). Kareldorado (talk) 19:32, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
By the way, good argument of yours about the recent info regarding the players, namely the latest call-ups. Kareldorado (talk) 19:32, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
I did omit the current injuries deliberately, and want to keep it that way, since it is not so convenient to catch up with that for all 20+ players. Kareldorado (talk) 19:48, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I saw you removed those "current injury" icons -- and I certainly agree with that argument. Glad to have the Results & fixtures section back though :P I'm hoping that if this article ever gets to FA, it can even stay there (in some form at least). — Sygmoral (talk) 15:23, 27 April 2015 (UTC)


Help me identify former players! ManFromNord (talk) 08:28, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

This RBFA website with all Belgium players will probably facilitate your player identification; it provides the first names, photographs and former clubs. Do "Ctrl-F" for the last names and you should find all. Regards, Kareldorado (talk) 09:04, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Move "Managers" and "Captains" to the "History of ..." page?[edit]

Even though these sections do not take many sentences and the tables do not ask for that many bytes neither (because of the templates) these moves would seem both logical and desirable, since they are not so much about the team as a whole. Other opinions? Separate list articles? Kareldorado (talk) 18:18, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

To improve smartphone-friendliness and also because I received one or two comments on the limited value, I moved the "Captains" section into a separate list, with a link under "Players". The "Managers" section seems more valuable to me, as it shows who officially managed the team (= selected and usually trained them), while a captaincy is often merely ceremonial. Also, the section about the managers gives a good idea of how the team performed in a specific period, thanks to the win percentages and average points per game. Kareldorado (talk) 11:59, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Good decision I think. About the Managers section, I've been in doubt about this section before: it indeed provides a great overview of the performance of the team and which major tournaments they joined, but what I wonder is: is that actually what you expect to be in that table? I mean: if you were looking for that kind of chronological performance information, would you check the "Managers" section?
That overview seems so useful, I think it should "somehow" be in the section Competitive record. Perhaps as a visual graph on a timeline, wouldn't that be nice as an introduction in that section. That would decouple it from the managers though, and just show it by year. But then the full current Managers table (still including those right columns) might be moved into its own page, if that is still preferable, since the period-specific-performance is displayed in a different way. The keyword here then is "somehow" :) I.e., what should such a graph look like exactly (any others that do this?), what kind of information exactly should it have. Sygmoral (talk) 16:17, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Too true about both comments, I have been thinking the same about whether people would search for it in that section, so much more because it is collapsed... - which is needed, if you see the table size. Do you think people can easily find their way to the "Results" article like everything is organised now? Kareldorado (talk) 16:39, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Whether the full results article page is easily found depends how people navigate this article, I guess. Personally, I would start in the "recent results" section, and only when I've seen those do I get interested to see older onces - that's why I think that link to the "summarizing results page" in the introduction there is useful to have. Especially for people that come from other national team articles, because the "recent results" section is so common. Sygmoral (talk) 23:08, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
By the way, see my suggestion on the talk page of History of ... :) Sygmoral (talk) 19:15, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

Integration of tournament match tables?[edit]

For me it is okay, but I would like consensus on this one: shall we integrate the following table in the article? In that case, maybe it should be part of the "Belgium at the World Cup"-template - separated from the other (overview) table with a space, of course. In case we do it for the FIFA World Cup, the same should be done for the UEFA European Championship and the Summer Olympic matches, in my opinion.

Anyway, nice work, ProudTarjaholic! I will temporarily move the table here in case you don't finish it yet today:

Keep up the good work, Kareldorado (talk) 19:34, 15 June 2015 (UTC)

True, that's a nice overview! But I doubt whether it should be on the main article, since it is so specific. I personally believe it would make more sense to have it on the Belgium at the FIFA World Cup page. In fact (on a somewhat related note), I've been doubting in the past whether even those current large FIFA and UEFA tables are too big for the main page ... I would probably feel better about it already if we can change the headings on the right side to just "Qualification record" (without the 'prefix'), to make the collapsed table only 1 row high :) Sygmoral (talk) 13:00, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
1) Agree, but we can still keep the summarizing tables. (Until we get a big remark or so.)
2) Done. Kareldorado (talk) 13:50, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Would it be possible to make the tables collapsed for smartphones? For computers the big tables seem perfectly ok to me because collapsed, for smartphones on the other hand... Kareldorado (talk) 13:54, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Hm, it seems tables can't be collapsed on the mobile site... Even the Help:Collapsing page doesn't work there, because MediaWiki:Common.js doesn't seem to be included on Mobile. So I think we're out of luck here, unless the Wikipedia team can be convinced to add collapsing support for mobile! Sygmoral (talk) 14:56, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Deletion of section "Popular culture"?[edit]

Hi, after some reconsideration I would like to delete the Popular culture section, and will carry on arguments pro and con:

PRO deletion:

- in AndyZ's FA suggestions it is explicitly recommended to remove "Trivia"/"other facts"/"Miscellaneous"/"In popular culture"
- little information about the team itself, neither about the team image (popularity and so)
- information about several commercial products, on top of that, it is arbitrary what to include and what not (card games? board games? The many other comic books that were released in 2014?)
- size reduction to obtain a more acceptable length
- bulleted lists are flow-breaking

AGAINST deletion:

- the section shows how the team fits into local culture (but rather little, IMO)
- a couple of times the team also co-operated in singing or appearing in songs or the recent Ta fête music video

Any more comments? Be my guest! Kareldorado (talk) 07:15, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

Reference dates: Sep or September?[edit]

The dates in references are sometimes written in full, sometimes in 3-letter abbreviations. What's it gonna be?

If I remember correctly, a bot actually repeatedly changed them from 3-letter to full-months in the past weeks, which was then sometimes (perhaps not consistently) reverted. Do we want to stay with 3-letter months? Is there a reason to? It's actually just as easy to simply write the months in full; it's not like there's limited space. But whatever the decision, let's make this consistent. (I'm happy to go over all the references to update them) —Sygmoral (talk) 02:23, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

I have seen that someone changed this by help of a bot, but I thought I had undone everything (May will always be May, however). Is there a bot who changed many words to full again? For the sake of conciseness in the references I prefer three letters. WP:CITESTYLE states "nearly any consistent style may be used". Kareldorado (talk) 03:35, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
I checked everything and only found one "August", so I abbreviated it. In every sentence or heading (including the heading of references) I keep it long, in the references I prefer it to be short. Kareldorado (talk) 03:41, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
Aha I see, I must have gotten confused because of the |date parameters in the infobox that do use the full version (since they visibly appear there). Less of an inconsistency than I thought then! —Sygmoral (talk) 12:16, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Deletion of Honours section and Minor tournament subsection[edit]

MarshalN20 suggested a deletion of both. Several featured articles do report the honours section, but the reasons why I favoured this step as well are as follows:

  • These parts were not prosaic at all.
  • If you count it well, you can already find all of these so-called honours (hard to define what an honour is, by the way) in four other places throughout the article: the infobox, the lead, the history section and the competitive record section. They are still legitimate there in these places I think, but a fifth mentioning would be absolutely superfluous. All awards can still be found through the link below the competitive record heading and the the template Belgium NFT at the bottom of the page.
  • The minor tournaments are... very minor, hardly known internationally. There were even more matches for special occasions - national FA celebrations and so - at which also cups might have been awarded, but this was barely reported in media. Very interested readers can still look up these minor tournaments through the wikilinks in the history section, or the template Belgium NFT.

With thanks for your understanding, Kareldorado (talk) 17:54, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Up-to-date bucket list[edit]

This might serve as a reminder for which things to keep updated - like this we can do it more systematically. Please take care of the totals when changing numbers in tables.

After a new selection is announced:

  • "Current squad", including the text and references above the player list, and blanking of player numbers
  • "Recent call-ups", including side comments about injuries and so

After each match:

  • "Current squad", including the text and references above the player list, and filling in player numbers
  • "Player records": the date and if needed increasing the amount of players
  • "Records and fixtures": the date and W-D-L and goal balances
  • "Management": average number of points under the statistically best performing manager
  • At the general results page: tables of Record per opponent and of Results in chronological order (2010–2019)
  • At the 2010s results page: the overall balance (on top) and match details of the latest match
  • At the records page: various things, especially with care for goals and appearances
  • At the manager page: numbers and dates
  • At the captain page: numbers and dates
  • At the home stadium page: numbers and dates

Monthly or, if possible, sooner:

  • In the intro and History sections: important updates (like qualifications)
  • In the infobox: FIFA Ranking and Elo Ranking
  • "Current squad": wiping out the players with last call-up > 12 months ago
  • At the records page: FIFA Ranking and Elo Ranking and various things

Of course, additions and changes are welcome. Kareldorado (talk) 14:16, 6 September 2015 (UTC)

Last steps before naming the article as Featured Article Candidate[edit]

At first sight there is little to add after the circumstantial reviews by Cirt and Parutakupiu.

However, before the long winter break of the national team there are still some adaptations needed in upcoming two weeks:

  • Update after the match against Italy (13 November)
  • Update after the match against Spain (17 November)
  • Re-read and offer final comments
  • Await a nice illustration of the new kit (away kit yet to be revealed), probably another masterpiece by Zotteteen1

Kareldorado (talk) 04:44, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

References: cite news/web[edit]

Refer to Help:Citation Style 1#Templates: cite web really is only a 'last-resort' option, if all other options have been exhausted. If nothing else is applicable, only then use cite web; that's how I interpret it. cite news is for, I quote: news articles in print, video, audio or web. Any website that posts news articles therefore should (imo) be quoted with a cite news template, often with a website=... parameter. The only good use for cite web, I believe, is for information on websites that is not posted as a news item, and cannot therefore be considered to be a "news article" (such as a link to FIFA regulations). (Some websites may require a cite journal instead, if they're the website of a magazine, since those are "magazine articles", not "news articles". )
Concerning the publisher vs website parameter, I understand that Sporza is indeed not the name of a website, so I guess the 'website' parameter should not be used. But I was hesistant to use the publisher parameter because Sporza is not a company, and every documentation about the publisher parameter says it should only be used for real companies (in this case, VRT: VRT is doing the publishing through its Sporza brand). Anyway, I guess that's too confusing, and if not "publisher" or "website", I don't know what to call Sporza, so I guess we should probably use publisher=Sporza anyway. But I do believe cite news should be used, not cite web, as the latter is too generic. Sporza does publish news articles on their website, and that's exactly what cite news is for. —Sygmoral (talk) 00:25, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

Okay, after reading through Help:Citation Style 1#Work and publisher, I conclude that we should actually use "" (including the .be to show that we're not refering to the entire Sporza brand), and omit the "publisher" parameter. If used, it should say VRT, but nobody cares that it's VRT anyway. The publisher parameter is only recommended for cite book, while it is 'not necessary' for others (they really really mean publishing companies with that parameter). —Sygmoral (talk) 00:36, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, good remarks, I followed the same reasoning often until now, but Parutakupiu's note about consistency and the template page made me doubt. Sometimes articles at Sporza are not really 'news', but a retrospect, a summary about recent events, guesswork on upcoming events... Vice versa, sometimes newspaper articles are not about 'new' news - does that mean that we should use something else than 'cite news' in that case? Maybe we should ask users like Parutakupiu and MarshalN20 what's their experience in the field. Kareldorado (talk) 11:19, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
I fully agree with Sygmoral's explanation, and that was always my non-expert understanding. The only thing I may not have acknowledged was the use of {{cite web}} as a last resort when all other citation templates do not apply, but even this has never posed a problem so far. In summary, if the source is any kind of news article (print or online), use {{cite news}} and the work/website/newspaper parameter should define the source type. For online non-news sources, {{cite web}} is generally the most appropriate. Hope I was clearer this time. Parutakupiu (talk) 11:37, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Ok, thanks both of you. We will have to watch out then each time, whether an article is about real 'news' or whether it is merely a flashback about things that happened a lot earlier. -- Kareldorado (talk) 12:32, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Stability is very important in these cases. Keep consistency in the way that the citation formats are used (if you're going to use web for one and news for another, be sure to know why this is being done so that you can explain it and help others replicate your work). I hope you're having a good November! Best.--MarshalN20 Talk 22:28, 11 November 2015 (UTC)


After the unsuccessful FAC1 I managed to show the article to a native speaker, and she agreed with the last reviewer that the prose needs a lot of work. She has kindly rewritten the "actions" and "supporters" sections, which I will wiki-edit shortly. I'm keen to help get the article up to FAC standard so you can nominate it again. Are you still up for it? Edwininlondon (talk) 10:43, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

Hi, thanks for this effort to move the article forward. I was not too discouraged by the many issues brought up during FAC1, but with the pace I could edit Wikipedia in these days the process would hang on for several months, so I rather left the topic inactive for a while, waiting for it to be closed. Yes, I am still up for a new nomination, but not before we largely tackled next pending matters:
  • Change the English prose from "awkward" into "normal" (anyway I need help of others for this; I can't sniff awkward English that well)
Regarding this, Edwin, a couple of months ago you told you had rewritten versions of two sections, may I see them? Thanks, Kareldorado (talk) 06:27, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
  • Add and fill in all "accessdate" parameters
Done. Kareldorado (talk) 06:27, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
  • Miscellaneous other issues raised at FAC1 by users NapHit, LaserBrain and you
Regards, Kareldorado (talk) 10:56, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

FAC2 preparation[edit]


The Wikipedia template for football kits is quite a hard one, because its dimensions are not realistic. But we have to use it of course. Still, it shows only the front, and not the sides. Currently, the Belgian kits have some 'compromises' that don't exactly make them look more realistic, in my opinion. It feels like the separate elements of the designs got more attention than the complete picture did. I have two issues with their current form:

  • The stripes on the sides of the real thing are barely even visible on a frontal view (if worn by a player). We have to live with the fact that the Wikipedia template is a frontal view, and we can't get the sides on there, at least not fully. But the biggest trouble is when those stripes meet the sleeves, because in reality they end up in the "armpits", which is not possible to model in 2D, so they appear to just 'stop' in the middle of the chest. We can make that more realistic.
  • My second issue is purely with the away shirt: the size and position of the Belgian colours. In reality, the top border is still BELOW the sleeves, while the current form shows it ABOVE where the sleeves start. It's impossible to do it "perfectly", but it can be done better. Also, they should be wider than what they look like now: especially if you imagine them tucked into the shorts (which seems to be what the Wikipedia template counts on). Check this picture, especially the left and right guy which match the template best.

So this is what I made of it for the Away shirt, back in November. I think the stripes on the right one are much more realistic, and the Belgian colours... it's not perfect, but it's more accurate than in the original.

I could still add the neck thingie, if that's a problem. But I don't feel like this adds to the realism; it's actually too thin, and also: "less is more". My suggestion just uses the default neck from the template. Oh and I would also change the socks because they don't have those stripes when seen from the front. Maybe just a single stripe next to the edge.

The Home shirt also needs to loose the excess stripes on the socks, and in the body I'd just make it so that the stripes "disappear under the armits", as I did with the shirt above. And make the red stripe on the shoulders a little more wide.

Any objections? –Sygmoral (talk) 19:30, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

No objections, just go for it. Honestly I am not a big expert in comparing the real thing with our approximations, but indeed we don't need to see the back part of the collar, and often the side patterns of football kits are over-emphasized. Kareldorado (talk) 10:49, 27 March 2016 (UTC)
There, done. Sort of proud of the Home one, and the Away one, well, I guess this is as about good as it gets! (jeez, 2.5 hours just for this, I must be crazy) –Sygmoral (talk) 03:36, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
It's dedication. It's really fantastic to have two dedicated Belgian football experts in the English Wikipedia. I hope the second FAC goes better. Best.--MarshalN20 Talk 03:49, 30 March 2016 (UTC)


An IP-user removed the 'Captain' note next to Vincent Kompany, and denoted only Eden Hazard as the 'captain'. While he is correct about this squad's captain, Kompany is without a doubt still considered the standard captain of the team. But we can't really have two different players both be called "the" captain, I assume.

I didn't want to revert it yet because it's a somewhat confusing issue. Should E. Hazard be called "2nd captain", even though he will in fact always start the game as captain throughout the European Championship and its preparations? How else could we elegantly solve this? –Sygmoral (talk) 16:42, 12 May 2016 (UTC)

I'd simply write "captain" behind Kompany's name, and "vice-captain" behind Hazard's. Anyone who is willing to check the recent call-ups will easily find out why Hazard is 'only' vice-captain but yet fulfills the captain function. Maybe it is useful to add a reference stating Kompany and Hazard are the Usual Suspects. Kareldorado (talk) 19:53, 12 May 2016 (UTC)

Notability & player career sources[edit]

I want to cope appropriately with the notability issue of current players in this article's "Notable" section, something brought up by Barryjjoyce. I also invite my mentor MarshalN20, Belgian sidekicks Sygmoral and Pelotas, and Yorkshire football authorities GiantSnowman and Matthythewhite to discuss and reach a consensus.

Basically, I have two questions:

1) Do you agree that a Belgian NFT player can be perceived as notable if he either won a team trophy (= league title or national cup) in a foreign top division league (or Europa League or Champions League), either an individual trophy (most valuable player / top scorer) of that league?

2) What do you generally recommend most as 'reliable' source for individual player career information (including team trophy wins)? Soccerway? Weltfussball? National Football Teams? Any other? (Plenty of choice ...)

Thanks in advance, Kareldorado (talk) 19:46, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

I really don't like 'Notable players' sections unless a newspaper/the FA etc. has published a proper article/list on it. GiantSnowman 19:57, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Hi Kareldorado! How are you? Thank you for the notification. This is a good set of questions. The key distinction that must be made is between a notable Belgian footballer and a notable footballer for the Belgium national football team. For example, Peru had many notable players during the mid-twentieth century, such as Alberto Terry, Juan Seminario, and Juan Joya, but no sports history textbook considers them to have been particularly notable for the Peru national football team (aside from that one victory over England in Lima; the 1970s-80s squad overshadowed them). Hence, following the sources, they are not in the notable players section.
The same should apply for the Belgium article. It shouldn't matter what the players do at the club level. What matters is what the player has done with the national football team. Always think about what the secondary sources highlight (which is what, I think, Giantsnowman has in mind as well), preferably sports analysis by specialists (check out the sources that I use for the notable players section in Peru national football team).
I hope this helps. Best regards.--MarshalN20 Talk 22:06, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

References in infoboxes[edit]

I refer to: WP:MOS -- Infoboxes -- References in infoboxes. I remember reading that in the past: it says that references should not appear in infoboxes if those refs already appear in the body of the article. The idea, I'm sure, is that the infobox is sort of meant as a summarization of the body, so it should not introduce "new" information, only repeat what is already said in the body. (and that's the reason I am against the Elo ratings and the "biggest win" and "biggest defeat" in that infobox template, but they always go against me when I suggest removing them from the template, so ah well :p) –Sygmoral (talk) 12:36, 4 August 2016 (UTC)

Recent call-ups[edit]

I get a bit annoyed when Danielmordor removes refs that I put in the Recent Players section (this wasn't the first time), because Wikipedia says all information should be sourced, and a lot of information in this section isn't. But I left it alone this time. Not so for the note about the Spain match last year though, that seems too important not to say anything about. I also don't understand why the explanatory note about Kompany's captain-status had to be removed, but anyway ... (Danielmorder must hate refs and notes!)

Anyway, I'm not writing just to complain, but to change something about how we maintain these tables: he has also been updating players' clubs, which I understand, but someone had already asked him two weeks ago not to do so on the Wales article, citing a recent WP:FOOTY discussion. "The clubs mentioned should be the clubs the played with at the time of that call-up". Now, I don't want to revert those edits because I'm too lazy to look up who was playing for what club, but I think we should enforce this in the future. Another thing (from that discussion) is that the age should always be "age at that date" rather than "current age" in this table. Actually the same is true for "Current squad" because that table always relates to a specific call-up, too. If we're going for Featured Article anyway, might as well take ALL recommendations into account! So I will try to enforce this as soon as the squad for 1 september is announced, if no one disagrees here. –Sygmoral (talk) 07:31, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

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Working archive link (thanks User:cyberpower678), but the link isn't dead, so I remove the |deadurl=true. –Sygmoral (talk) 15:46, 31 October 2016 (UTC)

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This was not a dated reference, but an "external link". It's supposed to just always link to the most recent version of the page. –Sygmoral (talk) 19:46, 12 November 2016 (UTC)