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Belgium aim to 'make the impossible possible'

Published: Monday 10 October 2011, 11.00CET
Belgium probably need a win in Germany on Tuesday but Georges Leekens called on his side to "make the impossible possible" in what Eden Hazard says is his biggest-ever game.
by Berend Scholten
from Diest
Belgium aim to 'make the impossible possible'
Georges Leekens looks ahead to the match in Dusseldorf ©Getty Images
Published: Monday 10 October 2011, 11.00CET

Belgium aim to 'make the impossible possible'

Belgium probably need a win in Germany on Tuesday but Georges Leekens called on his side to "make the impossible possible" in what Eden Hazard says is his biggest-ever game.

Belgium's UEFA EURO 2012 qualification campaign has been filled with highs and lows, with hope and despair.

We came back from an impossible situation and it is a real achievement we are still in contention
Georges Leekens
For this generation the Germany game is historic. Although they are favourites they have not won yet
Eden Hazard

Under coach Georges Leekens, the Red Devils started with two losses before their form picked up, but last month's 1-1 draw in Azerbaijan left Belgium's chances of pipping Turkey to the play-off place from Group A looking bleak. However, on Friday their 4-1 defeat of Kazakstan, combined with Turkey's home loss to group winners Germany, took Belgium up to second spot.

Nevertheless, on Tuesday they must still secure as many points away to Germany – who are yet to drop one – as Turkey manage at home to Azerbaijan. Leekens accepts it will not be the easiest of tasks against a Germany side who will be missing absent midfielder Mario Götze and probably Miroslav Klose with a knee problem but could welcome back Toni Kroos and Mesut Özil.

"I hope [Germany] celebrate their victory over Turkey until Tuesday," the coach said, before reviewing Belgium's own Friday success in Brussels. "I am not euphoric but I am extremely happy. We played with style. We did what we had to do. The Germans too, which is nice. Tuesday will be a completely different game – we deserve that final in Germany. The Germans have maximum points but we believe in our small chance. It is not always the strongest team that wins."

This position seemed a long way off after the Belgians' opening losses to Germany and Turkey, coming off a FIFA World Cup campaign where Belgium suffered six defeats from ten games. Yet they have not been beaten in the group since. "We started with zero from a possible six," Leekens said. "If we qualify now it would be huge for this young squad. We will not receive any gifts. My players believe in our goal, however. We came back from an impossible situation and it is a real achievement we are still in contention.

"Germany are great opponents. We will have to be at our best. We have survived until the end and now we have to make the impossible possible."

That ambition is shared by Eden Hazard, who ended a 23-match wait for an international goal on Friday and hopes the backing of an estimated 5,000 fans in Dusseldorf will spur Belgium in their bid to move closer to a first final tournament since 2002.

"In [the 2-0 win in] Austria in March they also played their part, hopefully this match will have the same outcome," the playmaker said. "I believe in us. We could have won at home to Germany but one mistake killed us. If we hit our peak on Tuesday, and avoid those little mistakes, then we certainly stand a chance. I have rock-solid faith in this team.

"For this generation the Germany game is historic. Although they are favourites they have not won yet. It will be the biggest match of my career."

Last updated: 11/10/11 9.24CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/news/newsid=1515763.html#belgiums+rock+solid+faith

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