‘We are just Belgium’ – De Bruyne says golden generation can’t compete

Kevin De Bruyne claims Belgium cannot be expected to compete with Italy and France despite being top of the FIFA world rankings and boasting an array of stars like Lukaku, Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, Axel Witsel and Dries Mertens.

The European team missed another opportunity to secure a major silverware as they suffered a 2–1 defeat to Italy in the Nations League third-place match on Sunday.

“We did well at times against some top teams and had many new faces who did more than a decent job today,” the Manchester City midfielder told HLN.

“It’s good experience for them to be able to play against opponents of this calibre, but unfortunately we lost twice. With all due respect, playing against Estonia is not the same thing and these challenges are necessary for us to grow, both as individuals and as a team.

“With all due respect, we are ‘just’ Belgium,” De Bruyne added. “It’s a new generation, we were missing Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard [on Sunday], so we have to be realistic about the team we have. Italy, France and Spain have 22 top players to choose from and we do not.”

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