In the previous two European Championships, elimination in the quarterfinals, at the World Cup in Brazil, the same result, in Russia, third place. The golden generation of Belgium still does not have a trophy to confirm that epithet, and time is running relentlessly.
And they missed another opportunity to reach it, as they finished fourth in the final tournament of the League of Nations. Disappointed with the defeat by the Italians in the match for third place, Kevin de Bruyne spoke openly after the match in Turin.
He started "gently" De Bruyne is aware that there has been a change in the squad and that Belgium has had a mixed lineup. Still, there are still top players who are some of the best in the world at the moment. But Belgium has always lacked that one step forward that they would make with the golden generation.
But they didn't make it this time either "Occasionally we played well against two top national teams. Today we played with a lot of changed lineups, with a lot of newcomers who were more than decent." "It's good for them that they can play against teams like this.
Unfortunately, we lost both times," Manchester City footballer recalls
However, despite the failures, De Bruyne notes that there were also positive things in the defeats from France and Italy. This was an ideal opportunity for young players to just show that they can play for Belgium, which has certainly been in the top 5 European teams in recent years.
This will affect their experience and will be very useful in the future "In the end, defeat is not that important. It is much more important for many players who play games at this level. It is good to play against Estonia, but with all due respect, this is the very top and you need games like this to grow as a player."
And then completely honestly and right on target. "Still, we are just Belgium. A new generation is coming to us, and today we missed a lot of top players like Eden and Romelu. We have to be realistic with the team we have.
Italy and France have 22 top players, we don't," concluded De Bruyne. Most will agree with De Bruyne regarding Lukaku and Hazard, but this generation could have done more in the past given the quality they had They will have to continue and hope for positive results in the future