Kevin De Bruyne delighted with Pep Guardiola’s new Manchester City signing but disappointed that Belgium can’t repeat the Premier League champions.
The playmaker was an important figure for Guardiola during his time at the Etihad Stadium and the pair formed a bond that led them to silver medals in several competitions.
However, despite his success there, De Bruyne sometimes found it difficult to dictate matches under national team boss Roberto Martinez, as he does at City.
Following the recent news that Guardiola has extended his contract by two years, De Bruyne expressed his satisfaction but stressed that he cannot expect his country to perform in the same way as his club.
“It makes my life much easier,” he said. “The way he leads the team is very clear and I feel very comfortable with him. Both of our contracts run until 2025, so that makes things easier. I couldn’t be happier.”
“[But Belgium] can’t play like Manchester City. As a national team, you have to adapt to the players that surround you.
“Does it upset me sometimes? Yes, but I have to show it less, even though that’s the perfection I’m striving for.”
— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) November 24, 2022
De Bruyne was named Man of the Match as Belgium kicked off their World Cup campaign with an unconvincing 1-0 victory over Canada in Group F on Wednesday.
The midfielder looked upset and did not participate in the celebration of eventual winner Micha Batshuayi, although he is aware that he needs to keep his visible irritation on a leash.
“I know that my reaction is not always good,” he added. “I look for moments after that to find this peace, but people know that this is my way of helping the team play better and get more out of the game.
“But of course I also have to learn to respond better. From time to time, emotions splash out, but this is also part of the game.
Belgium will next play Morocco on Sunday, followed by their Group F final against Croatia next Thursday.