Fifty-nine days after Belgium’s elimination in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 against Italy, the Red Devils met for the first time on Monday in Tubize. This time, it is in preparation for the triptych against Estonia, the Czech Republic and Belarus, as part of the qualifications for the next World Cup.
“This elimination still hurts me,” Jan Vertonghen admitted Monday in Tubize. “We failed to achieve our goals during this Euro. There is not much we can change about that now. The only thing we can do is win games. “
Vertonghen also looked for the causes of this elimination, the third in the quarterfinals of a major tournament after those which occurred in 2014 and 2016. The only exception was the 2018 World Cup, where Belgium managed to cross the quarterfinals and get a third final place. “You are always looking for the causes. We have already faced the best team in the tournament, the one that won the competition. It was an excellent team, both offensively and defensively. If we want to win prizes, we obviously have to be able to beat them. Against Italy, we couldn’t realize our chances and we made mistakes on goals, ”noted the left-back.
The question now is to know if this generation of the so-called golden Red Devils, did not miss the boat and that its best possibilities of victory are not behind it. “Italy was really above in all areas. I had not felt that for three years and the match against France, which was based on a solid defense and an individual class in front. Both hurt us. We also went to the Euro with very high expectations, we had set the bar a little higher and we really wanted to win. In 2016, we also missed an opportunity. These are rare times and you must seize them when they arise. However, it will not be a lost generation if we do not win anything. There are a lot of great players who don’t have titles with their national team. Messi had to wait until this year to get the first. “
After a disappointing Euro, calls for the rejuvenation of the team have been blatant. However, coach Roberto Martinez quickly made it known that he would continue to trust his executives present at the European Championship, to which would be added a few young people, close to the team for some time. “I certainly don’t see rejuvenation as competition because we all have the same goal. I would definitely like to help Zinho, Brandon and Jason in defense, ”said the 34-year-old defender. “We’ve had the same nucleus for a long time, so it’s good to inject new blood into it. I am here to play, but also to help. The national team needs, above all, good players. The best players have to be called in and play. And if the young are better than the old, so be it. A selection like ours is not easy, because for each player that arrives in the nucleus, another must come out. And who should it be? »Concluded the man with 131 caps.