‘Keep your thoughts to yourself!’: Graeme Souness BLASTS Belgium star Kevin De Bruyne over claims the national side were ‘too old’ to compete in Qatar… as pundit insists comments ‘would not have spread a happy atmosphere’ in Red Devils camp
Ahead of the tournament commencing, the Manchester City playmaker made bold claims his national side had ‘no chance’ of winning it because they are ‘too old’.
And after the Red Devils crashed out over the competition in the group stages – after failing to beat Croatia – Souness ripped into the Belgian and claimed his comments were ‘totally unnecessary’.
Kevin De Bruyne claimed that the Belgian national side were ‘too old’ to win the World Cup
Graeme Souness ripped into the playmaker for the timing of his ‘unnecessary’ comments
Speaking about De Bruyne’s comments, on ITV, Souness said: ‘Totally unnecessary. You gain nothing. If that’s your thoughts, then keep them to yourself.
‘That would not have spread a happy atmosphere inside the camp. Why he’s chosen to do that, only he can tell you.’
De Bruyne’s comments referred to Belgium’s ageing ‘golden generation’, with a number of their star players – such as Dries Mertens, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Eden Hazard – entering the tournament over the age of 31.
The playmaker’s comments may have been factually correct, but Souness claims that they may have contributed to the recent disharmony in the dressing room.
De Bruyne failed to register a single goal contribution in his 270 minutes out in Qatar
Defensive duo Jan Vertonghen (L) and Toby Alderweireld are in the twilight of their career’s
Reports of disarray in the Belgium squad have been circulating throughout the tournament, with a number of senior players supposedly clashing over the team’s performances.
After the Red Devils were defeated 2-0 by Morocco in their second group game, three players had a heated disagreement and had to be separated by team-mates.
Those players included De Bruyne, Real Madrid winger Hazard and former Tottenham defender Vertonghen.
The latter hit out at De Bruyne’s comments after their shock loss to Morocco, as he told reporters: ‘We probably also attack badly because we are too old, that must be it now, surely?’
The Man City star got into an on-field spat with Toby Alderweireld in their opening match
De Bruyne was also involved in an on-field spat with ex-Spurs centre-back Toby Alderweireld during their opening game against Canada.
Roberto Martinez’s side got off to a winning start – after beating the Canadians 1-0 – but signs of disharmony were clear from the beginning and it showed in their later performances.
Against both Morocco and Croatia, the Red Devils – who were second in FIFA’s world rankings prior to the tournament – failed to score a single goal and were knocked out of the tournament.
Belgium were sent home from the World Cup after failing to qualify from Group F