December 9, 2022

Taylor Daily Press

Complete News World

" "

The day the golden generation of demons escaped death: ‘That journey was pure horror’ | Red Devils

There was almost no question about the golden generation. Just before the most successful period in the history of the Red Devils, our national team survived a tragedy. Twelve years ago, an international friendly trip turned crazy. The Tupolev will play a leading role … and crash after two weeks. In the “Champion Year” Canvas series, some heroes are looking back once again.

Flashback to 2010.

Barely six months later, Dick Advocaat left the Red Devils to earn a ruble in Russia. As part of the deal, both national teams will play an exhibition match against each other.

The trip will go down in history as the most chaotic in Belgian football history.

“We left for Russia on our plane,” Stephen Devore recalls. Only he was not allowed to land in Voronezh, because the airport was too small. ”

That problem was the start of a lot of trouble. Suddenly, in the middle of the night, the demons had to mark the path of Moscow. To wait there for hours – hungry and bored – on the runway. After consultation, it was decided to stay overnight in the Russian capital.

“We got to our room late at night. With Moussa Dembele I ate french fries with a hamburger,” laughs Marvin Ogonjime.

“We were in bed at 4 and had to go out at 10,” Devore adds with a smile.

The Red Devils are bored on the runway of Moscow Airport.

Because, of course, he still had to be taken to the playing site in Voronezh. Before that, the Russians found the Tupolev TU-154 after a long search.

See also  'First goal against him is a defensive foul': Thibaut Courtois storms into the dressing room almost immediately in frustration, but reacts | Red Devils

Jill Vossen still remembers the “Little Russian Plane”. “You can immediately see that it was an old plane – we weren’t very comfortable. When we took off the seats were folded and there was a lot of noise. As if the kite was barely hanging together.”

“Everyone was really scared,” Ogunjimi could laugh about it now. “You can just hear everything crack.”

Toby Alderweireld is also thinking anxiously at this moment: “I’ve never tried anything like this,” he says years later. “The seats just flew forward like that and you had to put them back on your own.”

The match itself will be included in the history books. Striker Romelu Lukaku scored his first goals for the national team in Russia. Belgium wins 0-2.

But the return trip (with Tupolev) has yet to come.

“I remember the plane was shaking on all sides as it took off. The storage compartments above us opened, causing all the bags to fall off.”

Also on board: our journalist Peter Vandenbett. “The device shook and shook,” he remembers. “There was also a little discipline. Everyone could walk around until the landing, because there were no flight attendants and flight attendants.”

“It was pure horror,” sighs Vertonghen.

Two weeks later, everyone present got chills when they read the newspaper. Because the conscious Tupolev broke to pieces during an emergency landing in Moscow – after the failure of all three engines. Two were killed and dozens wounded.

“When you read the news of the crash, you realize it could have been us,” said Devore, who was joined by Ogunjime. “At such a moment you think life can suddenly end.”

As well as the future of the Red Devils. Kompany, Lukaku, Hazard, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Dembelé… they were all on that flight.

“And then you weren’t hoping for a World Cup with the golden generation, but you had a memorial service every year,” Vandenbet concludes.

Tonight you can watch the second episode of “Champion Year” on canvas. The six-part documentary series takes a look back at Racing Genk’s dream season, with top talent Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois taking leading roles.

You can actually watch all the episodes on VRT Max – see below.

In the 2010-2011 football season, KRC Genk became a national champion against all odds. What is the story behind the scenes of this title?

6 episodes