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“The best player” – Manchester City star tipped to guide nation to Euro 2024 glory by Real Madrid legend



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Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne can lead Belgium to European Championship glory this summer, according to former international teammate Eden Hazard.

The 32-year-old captained Belgium during their European Championship opener against Slovakia on Monday, as Domenico Tedesco’s side suffered a shock 0-1 loss in Group E – with Romelu Lukaku having two second-half goals disallowed.

Kevin De Bruyne and Manchester City teammate Jeremy Doku both started the match in Frankfurt, with Doku’s 7th minute mistake being pounced on by Slovakia forward Ivan Schranz.

Monday’s defeat came during De Bruyne’s 101st cap for the Belgium national side, with the country having overhauled their squad following a calamitous FIFA World Cup campaign in Qatar in 2022.

Eden Hazard was part of the Belgian ‘golden generation’ and played alongside De Bruyne at an international level, with the former Real Madrid and Chelsea legend having retired last October at the age of 32.

Hazard played over 700 matches during his career, and believes Manchester City’s De Bruyne can help propel Belgium to European Championship glory this summer, with the midfielder having returned from surgery in January to help Pep Guardiola’s side to a record-breaking fourth consecutive Premier League title.

De Bruyne registered 24 direct goal involvements in 26 starts for the Sky Blues during the recent campaign, returning to action in late January after undergoing hamstring surgery in August.

Speaking with ITV Sport at the tournament in Germany, Hazard said: “I think they have a great chance, they have the best player in the world, so let’s see. To win something, sometimes, you need a bit of luck with injuries and this and that, so they have great chance, they are good.

“He’s the captain, to have him in the team is a bonus. He can make everything, every pass, he can see everything quicker than anyone, faster than anyone, that’s why he’s special.

“I think everyone saw it for the last three years, I don’t even need to say it that he’s special, especially in [the] Premier League, he shows to the world his class. ”

Belgium face a crunch clash against Romania in their second Group B fixture on Saturday, with a victory key for their hopes of progressing to the knockout stages of the tournament.