The Belgium that came out of the last World Cup revitalized (third in Russia 2018) enters this European Championship with one eye on the waiting room. It drags the usual doubt of the last two years, Eden Hazard, and a new and supposedly temporary one, Kevin de Bruyne, who still has not recovered from the great blow that he took in the face during the Champions League final of ago 15 days. The Manchester City player does not make his debut against Russia in Saint Petersburg (21.00, Telecinco) and hopes that he will do so for the second game, against Denmark next Thursday.
The Madridista is a separate issue. In reality, all the information regarding the white attacker on the eve of the tournament sounds old. Like a song that someone has put on repeat. “I have only done a full week of training. With the medical team I will see what we do for the first game. I’m not 100% yet, ”the player himself admitted three days ago. Last Sunday, in the friendly against Croatia, he appeared in a testimonial way for ten minutes, the first with his team since November 2019. In the last two commitments of the club season, he was not seen once evidenced his sad return to Stamford Bridge in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
If you ask his boss on the bench, the Spanish Roberto Martínez, the speech sounds the same as his colleague Zinedine Zidane always expressed at Real Madrid. “Medically fine. Now it’s about building that confidence training by training. This is not about playing 90 minutes against Russia, it is about that, when he is on the field, he can be himself ”. The faith of the Catalan and the French in the former Chelsea have always been unshakable. The second, however, left without receiving anything in return.
Best Player in Serie A
Yes, Martínez did and on the back of Hazard reached the semifinals of the last World Cup. But the scenario has changed and in the showcase of the Eurocup Belgium will have to look for other fishing grounds to progress again. While waiting for the best De Bruyne and Witsel (another limping due to the Achilles tendon rupture he suffered in January), the spotlights are pointing directly at 28-year-old Romelu Lukaku, who has just finished the best course of his career: 24 goals and six assists in the Italian League with champion Inter. His scoring figure throughout the course (30 goals) was the second best of his career: the previous one he celebrated 34, although he played the Europa League and not the Champions League. There was no doubt in naming him the best footballer in Serie A.
“This season, with Conte as coach, he has clearly gone to the next level. He is more decisive, better with his back to goal and better technically, “said the Belgian coach, who did not hesitate to point out him as” the dressing room boss. ” “He is very demanding with others because he is super demanding with himself. He is a warrior on the pitch, ”added a dedicated Roberto Martínez about the corpulent forward from Anderlecht and a Congolese father.
In the attack he must receive the help of Carrasco, who reaches the championship on the wave of triumphal Atlético with an estimable participation in the epic cholista. And from end to end. On the other shore, the last dam is Thibaut Courtois, who is not as happy as the rojiblanco, but as decisive or more in his team. His percentage of stops in the league (76.52%) was the second best of his career in a regularity tournament.
“You can’t win a championship with 11 players,” Roberto Martinez said in a routine appeal to the group’s courage before attacking Russia with casualties. The variety of resources would have to be worth to save the group stage (Finland is the fourth member). Later, everyone will look at the waiting room.
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