Football: Kevin De Bruyne captain of the Devils, a generation clash in the making?

21 March 2023

New national team coach Domenico Tedesco has chosen Kevin De Bruyne as the new captain for the Red Devils. A logical choice, but one that could also lead to a generation clash.


© Peter De Voecht/Photo News

A few days ago, the new coach of the Red Devils made a big announcement about his first choice of players for his first games with our national team. There were some surprises, like the fact that neither Witsel nor Mertens were selected in this first selection. But that is not all. On Tuesday, Domenico Tedesco also announced via Twitter his choice for the position of team captain: it will be Kevin De Bruyne..

Kevin De Bruyne will take over the position left vacant by Eden Hazard, who has decided to end his international career. Thibaut Courtois and Romelu Lukaku have been promoted to vice-captains. A surprise? Not really, as De Bruyne has already worn the armband six times under Martinez. The last time was during the Belgium-Croatia match (0-0), which unfortunately marked the end of Belgium's World Cup campaign in Qatar. It should also be remembered that it was during that match that De Bruyne had a run-in with Martinez and Toby Alderweireld (who has since retired from international football). Domenico Tedesco is therefore wiping the slate clean and starting from scratch, with no preconceptions.

De Bruyne confident


© Peter De Voecht/Photo News

The player in question, Kevin De Bruyne, commented on the appointment. "It's a real honour, because you represent a whole country. I have been playing in this team for a long time and I hope I will do a good job for Belgium. But for me, it doesn't change much in the group. Everyone has a job to do. There are still a few old hands in the team and it is normal that they carry the group. We can also count on Thibaut Courtois, Romelu Lukaku, Jan Vertonghen and even a youngster like Youri Tielemans," the new captain told La Dernière Heure.

Domenico Tedesco's choice is probably also based on his consideration for Kevin De Bruyne. And vice versa, because the new captain already knows the new coach well. "I had already played against him when he was coaching at Schalke and Leipzig. I think he is a very modern coach. He wants to give his team a lot of energy with forward pressure. I am used to this type of football. We will have to adapt and I hope that will happen as soon as possible," said De Bruyne.

A clash of generations?

Should we expect a generation clash between Kevin De Bruyne and the young new players? Not in principle, because, as De Bruyne said, "everyone knew that new players would arrive at some point. They have to prove that they deserve to be here. And I have a feeling they will be able to do that, because this is their moment." It's obviously a good relationship and De Bruyne is more of a mentor or a pass the baton to the younger generation. It remains to be seen how the new captain will lead and structure the game of the new team. In any case, he will have to act as a link between the two generations. The answer will be found on Friday, March 24 against Sweden.

ALSO READ: Tedesco's first Devils selection full of surprises

➤ Double win Sweden-Belgium