Roberto Martinez: De Bruyne deserves more credit

De Bruyne

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez believes Kevin De Bruyne deserves more praise for his World Cup performances.

The Belgian’s won all of their Group G games and also claimed a 3-2 victory over Japan, in stunning fashion, to book their place in the quarter-finals.

Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard have played starring roles, but Martinez, speaking after their final Group G game with England, feels De Bruyne has been instrumental and hasn’t received enough praise.

“I think Kevin De Bruyne has been underestimated in this World Cup so far.

”When you’re looking at his contribution in our team, it’s one of those contributions that is a deciding contribution. He gels everything together.

”He allows the front players to be in great positions. He’s essential in the way that we want to press and defend, defend quickly and defend high.”

Martinez believes that the Manchester City star is at the peak of his career and has brought his good form to the World Cup.

“Now he is 27, for two years he has been at an outstanding level, and probably in the last 16 months he has been at the highest level of his career. And I think he’s brought those standards into our work in the national team.

“His influence has been, straight away, that of a demanding winner, which is essential in any football team.”

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