Kevin De Bruyne called on his Belgium teammates to be brave on Friday, insisting he also needs to improve ahead of Sunday. Globalism Cup conflict with Morocco.
The Red Devils cruised to a narrow 1-0 victory over Canada in their opening Group F match on Wednesday despite a mediocre performance in which De Bruyne won the man-of-the-match award he later said he did not deserve.
During the match, he was visibly upset by Belgium’s performance and only Thibaut Courtois’ penalty save from Alphonso Davies stopped Canada from taking an early lead.
“We can show more courage, be better with the ball, improve our performance in general and the same on an individual level,” De Bruyne told reporters at the team’s training camp on the beach in southwest Qatar.
“I was at the level the team was playing at, I was below average, and I expect to be much better than that. This is what I will try to do in the next match.”
Victory over Morocco would guarantee them a place in the last 16, with striker Romelu Lukaku likely to be on the bench after training with his teammates on Friday following a thigh injury.
“Romelo’s return will not change the way we play, but of course he is a great striker,” De Bruyne said.
“Romelo hasn’t played for long now, but even if he only had a few minutes, they would be more afraid defensively.
“He gives us a lot of options. His return will be a boost.”
– frustration –
De Bruyne’s body language on the pitch against Canada showed his displeasure, at one point signaling teammate Toby Alderweireld to leave while he was apparently protesting with Belgium coach Roberto Martinez.
The 31-year-old says he understands his country can’t play as well as his club, Manchester City, but it still annoys him at times.
“We can’t play the same way as Manchester City, as a national team you have to adapt to the players you have,” De Bruyne explained.
Does it get me down sometimes? Yes, but I have to show it less, even though that’s the perfection I’m striving for.
“I know my reactions aren’t always good. I also look for moments afterwards to make peace.
“Of course I also have to learn to show my reactions in a better way. Sometimes emotions are involved, but that is something I am working on.”
“I feel very upset, I’m a perfectionist, I like to play good football, but I also know that I have to adapt to my teammates, play with them and help them as much as possible.”
Earlier in the week, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola signed a two-year contract, much to De Bruyne’s delight.
“I’m happy with Guardiola’s extension, it makes my life a little easier. The way he leads the team is very clear,” the midfielder said.
“I feel very comfortable with him. The way the team is playing is very positive and I am enjoying it.”
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