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Red Devils

With the Belgian football team through to the quarter finals of the 2014 Football World Cup for the first time in 1986, the 'Red Devils' as they are known back home are carrying the weight of national expectation on their shoulders. In 2013, Stephan Vanfleteren photographed the whole team in a specially adapted studio in Brussels, getting to the pure physicality of this team of elite athletes.

I haven't photographed the stadiums, the supporters or the matches. None of the action or the atmosphere. What I have photographed are the protagonists, our men. With bare torsos, full muscles, tough tendons and scars. Their bodies as tools. Some of the bodies are pure and virginal, others are like paintings, body art journals. Names, sayings, hearts, four-leaf clovers, dates, stars, angel's wings, crucifixes, dice, tribal designs and even a player with a tattoo of a gladiator in front of the Coliseum.

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