The synergy, the interplay, the telepathic understanding of where the other is at all times. There’s something wonderful about a perfectly functioning strike partnership.
They can come in many shapes and sizes, but a perfectly harmonious duo at the top end of the pitch can elevate a good team and make it thrilling. Especially, it seems, at international level.
Just think for a second. Maradona and Valdano. Bebeto and Romario. Bergkamp and Kluivert. Rivaldo and Ronaldo. Zidane and Henry. Muller and Klose. Owen and Heskey.
Alright, maybe we’ve got a bit carried away now. But the point stands. If you want to go far at a major tournament, it certainly helps to have an attacking double-act at the absolute peak of their powers.
If that is the case, then this could be Belgium’s time.
The ‘Golden Generation’ tag has clung uncomfortably to the Red Devils for a few years now. At the 2014 World Cup, they were a little too green. At Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup, they were expected to be among those challenging for the trophy.
Hal-Robson Kanu magnificently thwarted them at the first of those attempts and at the second they lost to eventual champions France. But with Romelu Lukaku shooting as sharply as he ever has before and Kevin De Bruyne floating around behind him supplying the ammunition, whoever they face in the latter stages of Euro 2020 had better watch out.
On Saturday against the Czech Republic in Prague, the former Chelsea team-mates provided even more compelling evidence that there is no more complete forward pairing in world football.
With Belgium having gone behind to a surprise goal from Lukas Provod early in the second half and the Czech side looking fairly solid, they needed their main men to step up. They did so in some style. Continue reading