Emmanuel Petit has spoken about the importance of loving your country if you really want to compete in international competitions.

The Arsenal legend hailed a number of Belgium players who he believes have the metal to go far in the Euros, including Spurs’ Toby Alderweireld.

“You have an extremely talented generation,” he said. “Starting with Eden Hazard, even though he is struggling at the beginning of the new season. I also like Lukaku and Benteke, what Fellaini brings… with his own style too.

“Alderweireld is again an excellent defender, while Kompany is a true leader. You have an opportunity next year with all the interesting and high-quality players.”

The Frenchman clearly rates the Belgium team and he’s not the only one. Since 2009, the national team has climbed from 66th in the FIFA Rankings, to third. They’re only behind Germany (2nd) and Argentina (1st). To put this into perspective, England are 10th, Spain are 6th and Brazil are 7th.

Belgium's players run during a training session on June 2, 2015 in Le Haillan near Bordeaux
Belgium’s players run during a training session on June 2, 2015 in Le Haillan near Bordeaux, southwestern France. Belgium’s national team is here before the friendly match with France on June 7. AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS TUCAT (Photo credit should read NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Petit made 63 appearances for France during his career, netting six goals, two of which being in the 1998 World Cup, which France won. The 45-year-old is therefore pretty well versed in what makes a national team successful. He believes it ultimately comes down to a genuine love of your country and desire to do well for them.

“This generation must be aware that great things are possible,” Petit added. “The mental aspect is important, you should love your country to achieve something with the national team.”