Tedesco’s work earns praise from De Bruyne, rekindling Germany’s lively football spirit for Belgium

    Kevin De Bruyne rejoiced that the Belgians realized their potential with renewed vigor, and the new Red Devils captain welcomed the “fun” approach that Domenico Tedesco instilled.

    Manchester City superstar De Bruyne provided two assists and scored another as Belgium defeated Germany 3-2 in a friendly on Tuesday at the RheinEnergieStadion.

    This made new manager Tedesco the first Belgian manager to start his career with two wins since René Vanderijken in 2006.

    Tedesco also became the first Belgium manager to see his team score six goals in their first two matches since 1999, when Robert Vasige’s new side scored nine goals in their first pair of matches.

    De Bruyne, who has made 46 assists for his country, 15 more than any other international teammate since his debut in August 2010, praised Tedesco’s early work following the departure of Roberto Martinez.

    “It was a good match. The first 30 minutes were very good, full of effort. It’s nice to see that we can be so good,” de Bruyne said on VTM. “After that it was a bit more difficult, but it is logical that you also have problems against a team like Germany.

    “The last quarter of an hour has been tough, but it’s nice to see that this team can do it too. Combinations were, defense is also good. There were many positive things.

    “It’s so much fun to play, fun for everyone. Not only with the ball, but also in defense. We try to put pressure quickly and win back the ball quickly. Then you will return the ball much faster, this is also the coach’s intention. There were many good moments.

    “The coach has already laid some foundation, for example in terms of structure. His style of play is already a bit present, but of course there are times when it’s still a bit difficult.

    “But after eight days together, I think it’s the best we could do.”

    Belgium were eliminated in the group stage of the World Cup in Qatar as Martinez said goodbye to what many consider to be the Red Devils’ golden generation of international footballers.

    Martinez’s team finished third in FIFA’s premier international tournament four years earlier at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, sandwiched between a pair of quarter-final eliminations at the European Championship.

    While it seems like a very talented group of Belgian footballers could end their careers without an international award, Tedesco’s new era held early hopes.

    A rare victory over Germany that was stunned by early goals from Yannick Carrasco and Romelu Lukaku, combined with Friday’s 3-0 victory over Sweden in Euro 2024 qualifying, impressed Tedesco.

    “Yes, I am satisfied after these two victories,” Tedesco said at VTM. “Not only the result, but also the way we played. Only we had to finish the game in the first half.

    “I wanted my players to show courage, play forward and get the ball, even when Germany put pressure on us. We have players for this. We must believe in ourselves, but we must maintain the quality that we bring within 90 minutes. And that’s the problem.”

    Belgium’s departure from the World Cup came as something of a surprise given their recent success in major tournaments, and Tedesco is ready to offer his new players freedom.

    “The players have qualities, they can play freely here and they can make mistakes,” he said at the post-match press conference.

    “The most important thing is that they develop as a team and as individuals. We must help and guide them in this.

    “It is very important that the enthusiasm returns. I feel good and am very motivated. However, we still have a lot of work to do. If you win, then, of course, more fun.

    “But I do not agree that Belgian football has been at an impasse since the World Cup. Losing matches in the World Cup can happen.”

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