"Thanks, Devils!": Belgian players received at the royal palace

The members of the Belgian national football team, the Red Devils, have been received by the king and queen. It was their first stop of the day, a day on which the Belgian people will say "thanks" to the Devils for their outstanding World Cup performance and get a chance to catch a glimpse of their heroes, who have just returned from the Russia World Cup.

The Red Devils, as the national team players are dubbed, returned from Russia last night, only hours after their win against England to claim the bronze. However, there was not much time for sleeping: they arrived at the royal palace in Laken by bus at 12:30. 

King Filip thanked the Red Devils for their performance in Russia, and said that while they only managed third place, they are the world champions in the hearts of many fans, both Belgian and foreign fans - a reference to the attractive Belgian play with 16 goals in 7 matches. The king also lauded the team spirit, and said that next time the Red Devils may become champions (watch the video to see the king's informal speech). 

This kind of festivities hasn't been seen since 1986, when the national team managed fourth place in Mexico

In an event that hasn't been seen since 1986, the Red Devils later got on a party bus to greet the people in central Brussels. Their session culminated in their appearance on the balcony of the Grand Place City Hall, where up to 8,000 enthusiasts had alreadu flocked together in the morning. There were some 40,000 enthusiasts cheering the players during the bus ride. Due to the heat, several people had to receive medical help from the Red Cross.