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Pablo Zabaleta slams Kevin De Bruyne over comments on Belgium’s World Cup chances

Kevin De Bruyne has come under criticism from Pablo Zabaleta over his comments on Belgium’s World Cup chances.

Speaking ahead of his nation’s second group-stage encounter against Morocco, De Bruyne claimed that the team was ‘too old’ to win the World Cup, while also labelling them as ‘outsiders’ in the quest to secure football’s biggest prize.

“I think our chance [to win the World Cup] was 2018,” De Bruyne was quoted saying by The Guardian.

“We have a good team, but it is ageing and we lost some key players.

“We have some good new players coming, but they are not at the level other players were in 2018. I see us more as outsiders.”

Off the back of a 2-0 defeat against Morocco for Belgium at the Al-Thunama Stadium where De Bruyne failed to have any meaningful impact earlier today, his former Manchester City teammate Zabaleta has now had a go at the midfielder for his pre-game comments.

“We spoke about the mentality of that Belgium team,” Zabaleta told the BBC.

“When you have some of your best players coming out and saying ‘we have no chance at this World Cup, the squad is too old’ it will affect the mentality of the squad.


“We have seen no passion, no fight, no energy, nothing.

“They still have the individual quality to win games and get through the last 16, but it is really sad to see that Belgian group of players not fighting for the country.”

Belgium are third in Group F with three points from two matches and will head into the final round of group-stage games with their qualification hopes firmly in the balance.

Roberto Martinez’s men have been largely underwhelming in Qatar, but they still have a chance at redemption in Thursday’s encounter against Croatia at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.

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