Kevin De Bruyne has been slammed by Pablo Zabaleta for his comments suggesting the Belgian side are too old to win the World Cup.
The midfielder’s quotes emerged ahead of their World Cup clash with Morocco, with De Bruyne claiming their best shot at glory has already passed and the current side are now outside of the contenders.
“I think our chance was 2018. We have a good team, but they are getting old,” De Bruyne told the Guardian.
“We have lost key players. We have good new players coming in, but they are not at the level of other players in 2018. I see us more as underdogs.
De Bruyne’s comments have somehow been proven, with Belgium suffering a shock 2-0 loss to Morocco in their Group F encounter.
However, his former Manchester City team-mate Zabaleta slammed him for his comments and accused Belgium of lacking passion, combat and energy at Al Thumama Stadium.
“We talked about the mentality of this Belgian team. When some of your best players come out and say ‘we have no chance at this World Cup, the team is too old’, it will affect the mentality of the team,” Zabaleta said.
“We saw no passion, no fighting, no energy, nothing.
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“They still have the individual quality to win games and qualify for the round of 16, but it’s really sad to see this group of Belgian players not fighting for the country.”
The result means the Red Devils give up their place at the top of the group to Morocco and will need to get something from their last game against Croatia on Thursday to be sure of progressing to the knockout stages.
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