There is “something special” about Belgium’s squad, Roberto Martinez said on the eve of his side’s World Cup quarter-final with Brazil on Friday.
Belgium have never won a major tournament but have four victories in four games in Russia, while Brazil are three wins from being crowned world champions for a sixth time.
“The two sides are very similar in terms of qualities,” added Martinez.
“The difference is we haven’t won a World Cup – simple as that.”
Belgium beat Panama, Tunisia and England to top Group G before coming from 2-0 down to defeat Japan 3-2 in the last 16.
That dramatic victory, when the Red Devils scored three goals in 25 minutes, has sparked a debate that Belgium’s golden generation could be about to deliver.
Martinez’s squad includes defender Vincent Kompany, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, midfielder Kevin de Bruyne and forward Eden Hazard, who have won the Premier League eight times between them.
In addition, Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has scored four goals for Belgium in Russia.
Despite Belgium’s lack of tournament success, Martinez said his players “cannot wait” to face Brazil in Kazan.
“There is something special in this squad, no doubt about it,” said the Spaniard. “The signs are positive and of a real desire to be on the football pitch.
“We can’t wait. I feel we are as ready as we can be. Over the last two years we have been working towards this moment.”