Kevin De Bruyne has admitted that Belgium cannot compete with other top teams such as Italy and France despite being labelled as Belgium's golden generation. The Manchester City star lost out on another chance of claiming an international trophy as they finished fourth in the UEFA Nations League.
Kevin De Bruyne has established himself as one of the best midfielders in the world while playing for Manchester City in the Premier League. The Belgian has won various major honours with the Manchester club as he has amassed over ten trophies in English top-flight football. The 30-year-old has been unable to replicate his success with the club with his international side, with Belgium failing to win a major trophy since his debut for the Red Devils.
Another opportunity to secure international glory was on the plate for Belgium in the UEFA Nations League finals but they ultimately crashed out with a 2-3 loss against France in the semi-finals of the tournament. Further disappointment ensued on Sunday as they lost to Italy 2-1 in the match for crowning 3rd place in the tournament. Belgium still remains the No 1 side in the world according to the official rankings but the Belgian claims that his nation cannot be expected to compete with the very best sides as they do not have the depth required for such a challenge.
"We did well at times against some top teams and had many new faces who did more than a decent job today. 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,” De Bruyne told HLN after the match against Italy.
“With all due respect, we are ‘just’ Belgium. It’s a new generation, we were missing Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard today, 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,” he added.