Kevin de Bruyne hails Belgium’s more intense new approach
The Manchester City star was involved in all three goals in the Red Devils’ impressive 3-2 win over Germany.
Belgium captain Kevin de Bruyne was in top form as his side beat Germany in a friendly on Tuesday night, a statement win under new boss Domenico Tedesco.
The Manchester City star lauded Tedesco’s more “fun” approach after the game, highlighting the new coach’s impact on the squad. The Belgian squad is stuffed with quality but previous manager Roberto Martinez had struggled to build an identity in his seven years at the helm.
In the 3-2 win over Germany, Belgium played a more intense high pressing style than seen in recent years. Speaking after the game, De Bruyne said that he enjoyed the change:
“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.”
He continued: “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.”
Belgium show signs of their potential against Germany
De Bruyne, who was named Belgium captain earlier this month after the international retirement of Eden Hazard, was the star of the show as the Red Devils swept into an early lead in Cologne. Within the first ten minutes he had set up goals for Yannick Carrasco and Romelu Lukaku, before adding the third himself with 15 minutes to go.
At 31, De Bruyne is probably approaching the end of his peak years and appears to be relishing Belgium’s new, more intense style.
“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.
“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.”
Tedesco was named as Martinez’ replacement as national team boss after a disappointing group stage exit at the 2022 World Cup. The former Spartak Moscow and RB Leipzig coach was happy with elements of the performance on Tuesday, but emphasised the importance of maintaining their levels against quality opponents.
“I wanted my players to show courage, to play forward and to claim the ball, even when Germany put pressure on us,” Tedesco said.
“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.”