Felli's World Cup Quest
Belgian targets wins over Macedonia to boost Brazil 2014 chances.
Marouane Fellaini is confident Belgium can take a big step towards qualifying for next year’s World Cup during the upcoming international break.
With Kevin Mirallas also part of the Red Devils squad, Evertonians will be keeping close tabs on their progress in the back-to-back fixtures against Macedonia.
Belgium have not participated in a major tournament for over a decade having failed to reach the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, along with the 2004, 2008 and 2012 European Championships.
However, this time around Marc Wilmots’ team are in pole position to qualify for next summer’s extravaganza in Brazil.
Belgium currently top Group A – albeit on goal difference - having recouped 10 points from their first four fixtures.
With second-placed Croatia – and Blues striker Nikica Jelavic – facing tough games against Serbia and Scotland, Fellaini says it is important Belgium record maximum points in their double header with Macedonia over the next week.
“We have a lot of good players now for Belgium,” Fellaini told evertontv. “I think there are 10 players playing in England. All the time in Belgium the talk is about the Premier League.
“We have a good team and we have two important games which I hope to win.
“We have some good young players and everybody wants to keep going so we can go to the World Cup.”
Belgium’s current crop of talent is considered to have the potential to become a golden generation, with the likes of Moussa Dembele, Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen, Eden Hazard, Christian Benteke and Romelu Lukaku all part of Wilmots’ exciting young team.
Another key component is Mirallas, who has been a regular for his national side since debuting in 2007.
The 25-year-old winger scored his sixth international goal in Belgium’s 3-0 win over Serbia last October, and Fellaini says it’s only matter of time before he is scoring regularly in an Everton shirt.
Mirallas struck 20 times to help Olympiacos win last season’s Greek top division and has contributed five goals in all competitions since moving to Merseyside last summer.
“Everybody knows he [Mirallas] has quality,” Fellaini explained. “He can score goals and is an important player for Everton. Every game he can contribute and I think he has. I hope for him that he keeps going like this.
“He can dribble and is involved in the action, which is important for forward players. He can score goals and takes good corners, so he is important for the team.”