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03rd Jul 2018

Didi Hamann believes Belgium should drop arguably their best player

He thinks there might be a rift in the team

Ben Kiely

As Didi Hamann correctly said on Irish television station RTE: ‘Brazil won’t mind playing Belgium’ in the quarterfinals.

Didi Hamann spotted something funky in Belgium’s midfield during their come-from-behind victory against Japan. Belgium fell two goals behind the underdogs before scoring a memorable win in Russia.

As he explained on RTE’s coverage of the game, the German thinks there might be a rift between Belgium’s two best players. He feels that Kevin De Bruyne isn’t exactly thrilled about playing in Eden Hazard’s shadow.

“They’re both top dogs in their clubs. It looks to me that De Bruyne is not happy playing second fiddle to Hazard because when there’s the option to give it to either, the ball goes to Hazard. I think De Bruyne finds it hard to accept it.”

To combat this issue, Hamann suggested something that would have been unthinkable before the World Cup. He feels that dropping De Bruyne might actually improve the Belgian team.

“They come back from two goals down so it may sound stupid to say it now. I still question the attitude. I don’t think this is a united team. In fact, if you take De Bruyne out of the team, they may actually benefit because I think the way they do play, there are other players in the squad who can do a better job than he does.”

He feels that the same problem that plagued the England national team is now affecting the Belgians. They have loads of stars, but they aren’t meshing well. With that in mind, he believes De Bruyne might have to be sacrificed from the starting XI.

“They talk about a golden generation. I think we had a golden generation in England who never did an awful lot… The problem, I think, with the generation in them days with England was that the managers picked the best players rather than the best team. And I think he’s in a similar situation now.

“The way they do play, I think it’s a better side if you bring somebody instead of Kevin De Bruyne. De Bruyne’s been an outstading player for City. But, you’ve got to pick a team where people compliment each other and want to play with each other and work together. I haven’t seen anything.”