Mousa Dembele is part of a Belgian squad that are fifth favourites for the World Cup and have been given an easy group to progress from.


He is a powerful dribbler in the Tottenham midfield, difficult to shake off the ball when bringing it from defence to attack but looks as if he has untapped potential. He is excited by the World Cup in Brazil and being part of a quality team.

"The reason you can say we have so many good players all at once in my view is simple -- it is just coincidence.

"It is a very nice coincidence and one we have to take advantage of, but for a small country like Belgium to have so many great players in the same era is unusual. To look for the reasons behind it, I don't know."

It's a little more than coincidence Mousa, it's the result of a complete restructuring of youth football in Belgium where clubs were all asked to lay 4-3-3 at youth level to produce a different type of player than the counter-attacker they normally produced.

"I'm so happy that all the Belgium players are doing so well. It gives us confidence to do well in the national team for the next few years. So many Belgian players are playing well at top clubs in England and all over Europe and this has given us confidence that we can do something special at this World Cup.

"You can see the difference in the country now. Everyone is excited and they can see how much this team has progressed. There is hope we can do well at the World Cup and it is good to see.

"It also means expectations are higher. Everyone watches the Premier League and sees our players doing well. Then they say we can do well at the World Cup and that is possible. Greece showed [winning Euro 2004] that the favourites do not always win. But this is still the World Cup and the competition will be big."

Spurs fans will be hoping his long standing friendship with Romelu Lukaku means he can convince him to increase the Belgian contingent at the club they can team up at White Hart Lane next season under new boss Mauricio Pochettino.

"I have known Lukaku since before he was a football player. I knew him when he was eight or nine and he was already a big lad then. We are from the same city and he is the cousin of my best friend, so we go back for many years now.

"In the last few years, we have got to know each other in the national team and we can all see what a great player he is. I am not surprised that he is doing so well and I think everyone in Belgium knows what he can do.

"It's not easy to go to Chelsea and try to find a place in a team with so many star players. He is capable of doing well there and he has shown that he is an unbelievably good player with the other Premier League clubs. He is an unbelievably strong player and that is his best asset.

"It is not for me to decide whether he is the player Chelsea needs, but all I know he is a very good player and I'm happy that he plays for my national team. Hopefully he shows that at the World Cup."

Mousa Dembele is a super player but always leaves the feeling that there is an even better player inside him waiting to be released. he doesn't shoot enough for a player who used to play further forward and one said he prefers to dribble or set up a goal than shoot himself. That unselfishness may be costing him more goals.

"I would like to score more goals and I still feel that in every aspect of my game that can improve. I always have confidence in myself, but the good thing is we have a lot of competition in the team and that keeps the level high. It is this way for me at Tottenham and Belgium. It means everyone has to be sharp."

Let's hope he has an injury free World Cup, then a good rest and comes back refreshed for the new season. Fitness is going to be a key concern next season and Dembele has been one to suffer niggling little injuries. The muscle injury prevention training Pochettino employs before every session will hopefully cut down on the number of games he misses.

Then it's just a question of unlocking his talent which may just be down to making him believe in himself more.

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