Preview: Belgium will be tricky opponents at Euro 2024, De Bruyne says

Belgium were quarterfinalists at the past two tournaments, and captain Kevin De Bruyne says his team are ready for Euro 2024.

Footballer waves his finger at crowd.
Belgium captain Kevin De Bruyne says he's feeling good about his team's chances at Euro 2024 [Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters]

Belgium are not among the favourites to win the European Championship in Germany, but not many teams will fancy playing against them, captain Kevin De Bruyne says.

The Manchester City playmaker did not make any bold predictions about how far Belgium will go in the tournament, which begins on June 14, but he is feeling upbeat about their chances.

“I don’t think we are top favourites, but I don’t think there are many countries keen to play us,” De Bruyne said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Belgium are in Group E with Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine and start their preparations on Wednesday with a friendly against Montenegro in Brussels.

It will mark De Bruyne’s 100th cap, and the 32-year-old said he was proud of his record.

“I’ve played against many top teams and at all the major tournaments like the World Cup and the European Championship. We have had, as a team, some good moments in those competitions.

“I could have played a lot more, but I’ve had some injuries in my international career. But I’m very happy to play this 100th game, especially at home in front of our supporters.”

Belgium will also play Luxembourg in Brussels on Saturday before heading to Germany.

“If we can find some rhythm in these two friendlies, it will be a boost. We must look to play well, score some goals and create many good moments. It will probably also be important to experience some difficulties, so that we can be better prepared for the Euros.”

De Bruyne said his hunger to keep performing at the highest level was undiminished. “When that hunger goes, you won’t see me any more here talking to you,” he told reporters.

He also said he was fully fit despite doubts over his condition towards the end of the season with Manchester City. De Bruyne missed the first half of the campaign due to a hamstring injury.

“I feel good,” he said. “Hopefully, I have the right energy to play a good tournament.”

Source: News Agencies