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Bright future beckons for Belgium

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Winning the bronze medal was their best-ever World Cup performance after they had beaten England 2-0 in the play-off match

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Belgium stalwart Vincent Kompany says the team has come on “leaps and bounds” following their third-place finish in the World Cup on Saturday.

Winning the bronze medal was their best-ever World Cup performance after they had beaten England 2-0 in the play-off match.

“What a rush of emotions!” said Kompany, his World Cup bronze medal clutched in his hand and a smile spread across his face.

In one fell swoop, he and his teammates earned Belgium a first-ever podium finish at the global extravaganza and also ensured that they will no longer be written off as a golden generation that failed to live up to the hype.

The Diables Rouges (Belgium) made it six wins from seven games to conclude their Russian adventure on a high. “It’s mission accomplished – our positive feelings now outweigh the regrets that we had after our semi-final defeat.

“Above all, we feel proud and we go away firmly intending to keep working hard so that we can be even better next time round,” the centre-back told Fifa.com.

The 32-year-old appeared determined to savour the present before turning his attention to the future. “We’ve come on in leaps and bounds recently thanks to a more effective method for preparing for matches. The results have been plain to see in Russia,” he said bullishly.

However, he was coyer about the question of his own plans – something that is on everyone’s lips in Belgium.

“I need some time to decide whether I’m going to keep playing for the Diables Rouges. It’s too important a decision to be made in the heat of the moment.”

For his part, striker Eden Hazard was in an equally upbeat mood after claiming his third Man of the Match award of the tournament.

“We’ll be even stronger in two years’ time. It’ll go down as a successful World Cup for us, but I’m convinced that even better awaits us in the future.”