Belgian players unsure whether to back manager Marc Wilmots

The team were knocked out by Wales in the quarter-finals

Belgium, Marc Wilmots, Euro 2016, Football

Belgium's Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Radja Nainggolan, Mousa Dembele and Toby Alderweireld. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

 

Despite reaching the quarter-finals, for the first time since in their history, and having their best performance in the European Championships since 1980, Euro 2016 could only be deemed as a failure for Belgium.

Marc Wilmots' side were the highest ranked European side in the FIFA World Rankings going into the tournament, but were knocked out on Friday night in the quarter-finals to Wales. The loss book-ended a poor tournament for the Red Devils which began with a 2-0 loss to Italy.

While his contract runs until the 2018 World Cup, Wilmots may be forced out of the job, as a split squad are unsure whether to back to the manager, who played 70 times for his country.

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois openly criticised the manager after Belgium's loss to Italy, but it looks like all criticisms of the 47-year-old are now being kept behind closed-doors.

According to Belgian newspaper Niewsblad, Vincent Kompany has ordered their team not to air their issues in public. The captain missed the tournament due to injury.

Kompany, Euro 2016 captain Eden Hazard and Axel Witsel are reportedly trying to convince the players to support Wilmots ahead of the 2018 World Cup qualification campaign.

 

It is also claimed that Wilmots told certain players they were to play in games in France while leaving many others waiting. Kevin De Bruyne was widely expected to be dropped ahead of the Group E game with Ireland but starred in the 3-0 win.

An away trip to Cyprus awaits Belgium in September for the start of the World Cup qualifiers. Whether Wilmots is in charge, remains to be seen.