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Jan Vertonghen takes swipe at Kevin De Bruyne after the comments he made, this could get ugly

Ryan Sidle

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Jan Vertonghen takes swipe at Kevin De Bruyne after the comments he made, this could get ugly

Jan Vertonghen appeared to take a dig at Belgium teammate Kevin De Bruyne, after their loss to Morocco put them on the brink of World Cup elimination.

Belgium were pretty lucky to win their opening game of the World Cup against Canada, with Alphonso Davies missing from the penalty spot.

The North Americans should have won another penalty as well, but the officials failed to realise Eden Hazard had passed the ball, and gave an offside.

It wasn't exactly a performance befitting the second best team in the world, according to FIFA's rankings, and they knew they needed to improve against Morocco on Sunday.

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That wasn't to be the case however, as they were beaten 2-0 by the African side, despite the fact they couldn't even line up with their first choice goalkeeper, in bizarre circumstances.

The loss left them in a precarious position ahead of the final round of games, after Croatia defeated Canada 4-1 in the later game to go top of the table.

Whilst FIFA had Roberto Martinez's side second in the rankings, star midfielder De Bruyne wasn't so convinced, saying earlier in the week that the team is 'too old' to win the tournament, saying their best chance was four years previous.

That seems to have annoyed centre back Vertonghen, the oldest player in the squad, who appeared to take a dig at that conclusion.

"In the end we conceded two identical goals on the set piece, twice at the near post. Balls that should never go in," the defender said after the game.

"The first time we got away with, the second time not anymore.

"There’s so much going through my mind right now, things I shouldn’t say in the open air. I don’t think we created any chances. Where did it go wrong?" the Anderlecht star said, criticising the team's attack.

"We probably also attack badly because we are too old, that must be it now, surely?

"We have a lot of quality up front, but so does Morocco, and they came out better today. This is very frustrating."

De Bruyne didn't have his usual effect on the game. Image: Alamy
De Bruyne didn't have his usual effect on the game. Image: Alamy

Belgium's current side have often been referred to as their 'Golden Generation,' a moniker previously given to Sven Goran Eriksson's England side of the early 2000s which had the likes of Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand and David Beckham amongst their ranks.

The Three Lions weren't able to win any silverware and so far neither have Martinez's team, although they did make the semis of the World Cup four years ago.

De Bruyne's statement has some merit to it, with Vertonghen playing alongside Toby Alderweireld in defence, with the pairing having a combined age of 68.

In front of them is Axel Witsel, aged 33, and Dries Mertens was one of the attacking players brought on during the loss to Morocco, who is 35.

Belgium will go out if they lose to Croatia on Thursday. Image: Alamy
Belgium will go out if they lose to Croatia on Thursday. Image: Alamy

However, at 31-years-old, De Bruyne is in the peak of his career and his form for Manchester City suggests he's good enough to win games on his own.

Captain Eden Hazard's form in recent years isn't great however, and even his weight was questioned ahead of Sunday's game.

Thibaut Courtois was also twice beaten by the same free kick, as Vertonghen pointed out, with the first disallowed, and the Real Madrid goalkeeper was criticised for his part in the opening goal.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Alamy

Topics: Belgium, Football, Football World Cup, Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City

Ryan Sidle
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