Kevin De Bruyne expressed his delight at the rejuvenated Belgium team as he praised the “enjoyable” style of play implemented by new coach Domenico Tedesco
The Manchester City star, who was recently made the captain of the national team, scored a goal and provided two assists as Belgium defeated Germany 3-2 in a friendly match.
Tedesco is the first Belgium manager since 2006 to begin his reign with two consecutive wins.
Tedesco achieved a remarkable feat by guiding Belgium to score six goals in his first two matches as manager, a feat that has not been achieved since 1999 when Robert Waseige’s team scored nine goals in their opening two fixtures.
De Bruyne, who has provided 46 assists for Belgium since his debut in August 2010, praised Tedesco for his early work with the team following the departure of Roberto Martinez.
De Bruyne having ‘fun’ with Belgium again
“It was a nice match. The first 30 minutes were very good, full of effort. It’s good to see that we can be so good,” De Bruyne said on television channel VTM. “After that it was a bit more difficult, but it is logical that you also get into trouble against a team like Germany.
“The last quarter of an hour was hard, but it is good to see that this team can do that too. The combinations were there, defensively it was also pretty good. There were many positives.
“It’s fun to play like this, fun for everyone. Not only with the ball, also defensively. We try to put pressure on quickly and win the ball quickly. Then you get the ball back so much faster, that is also the intention of the coach. There were many good moments.
“The coach has already laid a certain foundation, for example in terms of structure. His way of playing is already a bit there, but there are of course also times when it is still a bit difficult.
“But after eight days together, I think this is the best we could do.”
After leading the Belgium national team through a golden generation of footballers, Roberto Martinez said farewell to his team as they crashed out in the group stages at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Before that, his team finished third at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and they were eliminated in the quarter-finals of the European Championships on either side of that tournament.
Despite the possibility that Belgium’s highly talented footballers may not achieve international success, Tedesco’s appointment as manager has brought early signs of hope.
Tedesco satisfied with his first two victories
Tedesco was pleased with his team’s recent 3-2 victory over Germany, in which Yannick Carrasco and Romelu Lukaku scored early goals that shocked the Germans.
This win, along with a 3-0 triumph over Sweden in the Euro 2024 qualifiers on Friday, has left Tedesco impressed.
“Yes, I am satisfied after these two victories,” Tedesco said on VTM. “Not only with the result, but also with the way we played. Only we should have finished the game in the first half.
“I wanted my players to show courage, to play forward and to claim the ball, even when Germany put pressure on us. We have the players for it. We have to believe in our own strengths, but we have to maintain the quality we bring for 90 minutes. And that’s the problem.”
Tedesco’s approach is to give his new players a sense of freedom. Perhaps to re-energize them after Belgium’s unexpected elimination from the World Cup, despite their recent strong performance at major tournaments.
“The players have qualities, they can play freely here and are allowed to make mistakes,” he said at his post-match press conference.
“The most important thing is that they develop as a team and as individuals. We must help and guide them in this.
“It is crucial that the enthusiasm is back. I have a good feeling and am extremely motivated. However, we still have a lot of work to do. If you win, it’s more fun, of course.
“But I do not agree that Belgian football was at a standstill after the World Cup. Losing matches at a World Cup, that can happen.”