Kevin de Bruyne’s stunning second-half display in Belgium’s 2-1 win over Denmark on Thursday evening was lauded as “different level” by television pundit Graeme Souness.
Roberto Martinez’s Belgium were trailing 1-0 at half-time when Manchester City’s De Bruyne was introduced into the game.
The playmaker, who has been recovering from a fractured eye socked and nose sustained in the Champions League final, laid on an assist within ten minutes of his arrival, and won the game for Belgium with a fine finish midway through the half.
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“When he came onto the pitch everyone grew in stature, all of a sudden they had a bit of belief about them,” Souness said. “They were a completely different team in the second half.
“You get your top man on and it was like ‘he’s here - we’re going to be ok’. He scored one, made one, never gave the ball away… it’s a different level.”
La joie des joueurs belges face au Danemark
Image credit: Getty Images
Belgium qualified for the knockout stages with the win, and Souness says that the team ranked No. 1 in the world will always have a chance when De Bruyne is on the pitch.
“The top players think differently, and the special players have a picture in their head and that is what separates them from the rest,” he said.
"We never mentioned Vertonghen in the second half – when you have the quality up the pitch they can keep the ball and you don’t have to rely on the defence.
"When you have players like De Bruyne in your team, he will always create and score goals."
Belgium play Finland in their final Group B match on Monday, but are already assured of a spot in the round-of-16.
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