Taking advantage of a plethora of injuries in Belgium's back-line, Laurent Ciman will be spending part of his summer in France. After being part of the 2014 World Cup squad, the 2015 MLS defender of the year will join Marc Wilmots' 23-man squad for the Euro 2016. The sexy team of Europe will be going into the continental tournament with the favorite underdog tag yet again.
Between the delicate spot of dark horse and contender, a young generation of Belgian players hope to fulfill its potential after a good performance in the 2014 World Cup. To help guide this team through an unprecedented 24-team tournament, a Montreal Impact player will do his best to make himself useful as a team player around the game and in practice.
But most importantly, Ciman hopes to find his name in a starting lineup to prove to his naysayers that he deserves to be here.
Scoring the game-winning in a friendly game against Norway might give Ciman the nudge he needed to be considered as a reliable player, at least useful on the pitch.
We trusted me today. I have been waiting for a long time and took advantage [of the opportunity]. I had fun on the pitch. I am always ready and claim nothing. But I am here if I am needed. I think that I have proven that today and hope to be trusted more often -- Laurent Ciman
Ciman's straight-talk is his trademark and he will never change. Generous on and off the pitch, he will be mostly considered as a right-back, a position he has played in the past for both country and club (Belgium).
If MLS would like to take solace in Ciman's selection with Belgium, vis à vis Italy's snob on Giovinco, the Belgian has earned that privilege all by himself. It does help to prove that playing 30+ games in Major League Soccer still keeps you competitive for international soccer.
But at the end, Ciman has proven his worth to Wilmots that he can be a positive addition to a group, while he works on being an integral part of a squad and specifically a starting eleven.