Clock is ticking on Belgium's golden generation: Richard Buxton
Over half of starting XI who beat England are approaching or in their 30s
Roberto Martinez remains football's ultimate proponent of sunny disposition.
He manages to accentuate the extreme upsides to every potential scenario.
Overused adjectives such as "phenomenal" and "outstanding" are staples of the Belgium coach's lexicon. In the current climate, being so positive feels borderline unhealthy.
But Martinez's eternal optimism faces its sternest tests in the months ahead, starting with a vital Nations League clash against Denmark tomorrow morning (Singapore time).
The winner-takes-all encounter in Leuven offers a benchmark of how close the Red Devils are to shedding their status as the international game's perennial nearly men against one of their group opponents in next summer's European Championship.
Progress during Martinez's half-century of matches at the helm has been limited. His sole accomplishment of holding on to top spot in Fifa's world rankings is hardly a feat, given they were in and around the position when he was sacked by Everton in May 2016.
Medals are not handed out or trophies paraded for an unbroken 755-day spell as the top-ranked international team, especially as Argentina, Germany and Brazil also enjoyed stints in the position across the previous five years without it yielding tangible success.
True to his personal outlook, the Catalan continues to insist that Belgium's golden generation "deserves" to win a major tournament, but the clock is rapidly ticking. They blew arguably their best opportunity two years ago in the World Cup semi-finals.
France may have lacked the panache of their neighbours to the north-east in Saint Petersburg, yet still progressed in Russia and became somewhat unspectacular world champions.
Similarly, Father Time is refusing to stand on ceremony for the Belgians in the run-up to Euro 2020.
Six players in the starting XI that killed off England's Nations League prospects in Sunday's comfortable 2-0 win are aged either 29 or above.
Putting Gareth Southgate's side to the sword in under 24 minutes, however, proved deceptive. It underlined why Eden Hazard, for all his struggles at Real Madrid, became a genuine miss after testing Covid-19 positive before the latest round of fixtures.
The former Chelsea winger has featured in just three matches for the Spanish giants this season, with injury hampering his prospects as much as that recent diagnosis.
But by the time the rescheduled Finals roll around, Hazard will have turned 30, with Kevin de Bruyne reaching the same milestone midway through the competition.
Manchester City's talismanic playmaker continues to be his country's beating heart and, in tandem with Hazard, is their greatest hope of surpassing previous achievements.
Successors to the pair are conspicuously absent and throw up a familiar problem for Martinez, who has effectively mimicked his Goodison Park tenure on the global stage in incrementally upgrading the solid foundations of his predecessors.
From Marc Wilmots, more so than David Moyes, he inherited a formidable crop of players who needed to make the next step.
Breaking through that long-established glass ceiling proved to be Martinez's undoing in his nearly three-year spell on Merseyside.
A dress rehearsal against the Danes offers the FA Cup-winning manager the chance to add the slight distinction of a latter-stages run in the Nations League - as well as a stall on which to set out Belgium's Euro 2020 challenge.
Failure to deliver either will render his previously bold claims as skin deep.