De Bruyne Never Thought Of Quitting Belgian Team

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Fri 24 Mar 2023, 1:34 PM

Last updated: Fri 24 Mar 2023, 1:35 PM

New Belgium captain Kevin De Bruyne said he never thought about quitting the national team even after his country flopped at last year's World Cup -- following which his predecessor Eden Hazard announced his international retirement.

The 31-year-old Manchester City kingpin was named as skipper by new coach Domenico Tedesco, who replaced Roberto Martinez after the highly rated Belgians were bundled out in the first round in Qatar last year.

Toby Alderweireld and back-up goalkeeper Simon Mignolet also quit international football since Qatar while regulars Dries Mertens and Axel Witsel have been dropped.

De Bruyne said he has found the first days under Tedesco and a new-look squad as "an introduction to new class mates at a new school".

"It's different, but I see a lot of energy. For many young players it's an opportunity to play and it's time for them to grab it too," he told reporters.

"It feels fresh, but it was still a shock. Half of the usual squad is no longer there. But the newcomers want their chance as we used to want our chances."

Asked whether he had thought about quitting after the World Cup, De Bruyne said: "I did not think about stopping, not even for a second, actually.”

On the captaincy, De Bruyne said he would follow the example set by Vincent Kompany, who was the Belgian skipper from 2010-2018, and be direct with his team mates.


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Khaleej Times

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