Belgian midfielder Kevin de Bruyne said he was satisfied with his team for having tried “to the end” against an Italy “with a lot of class” and explained that he played the quarter-final match of the European Championship against Italy with a torn ligament.
“Thanks to the medical team because what they have done these 4 days is incredible. Playing with a tear in the ligament is incredible … But I have been able to play 90 minutes. I have done everything possible to be prepared,” said the footballer after the Belgium’s defeat against Italy by 1-2.
The Manchester City captain was replaced last Monday in the 48th minute of the victory against Portugal in the round of 16 of the European Championship after a hard tackle on the ankle and was a doubt until hours before the quarterfinal match, which ended up playing from the start to end.
De Bruyne said he was “disappointed” by the loss, but satisfied that the team led by Spanish Roberto Martínez has tried “to the end” in a tournament in which the team has been weakened by injuries.
“It has been a difficult tournament for us because of everything that has happened personally,” said De Bruyne.
Belgian captain and Real Madrid forward, Eden Hazard, who came to the tournament touched after two injury-filled seasons, progressively entered the team and in the match against Portugal asked for the change injured in the 87th minute.
To Hazard’s problems are added those of De Bruyne himself, who broke his face in the final of the Champions League and later joined the Belgian concentration, and the loss of Timothy Castagne, who in the first match of the championship against Russia suffered six fractures to its face in a plane crash.
“We have fought to the end. We will try next time,” said De Bruyne, who did not want to elaborate on either the League of Nations or the World Cup in Qatar.
“Now I am going to try to put my body in order. I have had a lot of problems in the last two months,” he said.
The 30-year-old footballer and the best player of the season in the English Premier, said he understood that there could be criticism, but stressed that the team has tried, not like in the European Championship in France 2016, when they lost in the quarterfinals against Wales without character nor opposition.
“I know there are going to be people who are disappointed or angry but we have tried,” said De Bruyne, who insisted that there have been “some problems in the team to be at 100%”, in relation to the physical problems of several of his best footballers.
“I think Italy was better in the first half. In the second half we created chances. We could, perhaps, have scored the second, but we didn’t. We tried. It’s not like against Wales,” said De Bruyne, who stressed that Italy is “a team” with a lot of class.