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Kevin De Bruyne on being a leader and Belgium's progress – interview

"Our growth has been unbelievably nice to see," says the Belgium captain as he prepares for his third UEFA EURO finals.

De Bruyne looking to add more gloss to 'super career'

There is not much that will faze Belgium captain Kevin De Bruyne when he leads his side out in Germany at UEFA EURO 2024. The 32-year-old will be appearing at his sixth major international tournament, and the Manchester City midfielder has been there and seen it all on the biggest stage.

Despite winning practically everything on offer with City, however, De Bruyne is still missing a trophy with Belgium in his silverware collection. Speaking to UEFA.com, he discussed his side's chances of glory in the next few weeks, along with his reflections on his Red Devils career and coach Domenico Tedesco.

Pick your EURO Fantasy team!

On Belgium's EURO mindset

It's good to finally be here. You don't want to spend too long in the preparation stage – you just want to start the tournament. In terms of chances, we just have to get off to a good start in the first match. After that, we'd like to make it out of the group stage and then we just have to wait and see what will happen. That's still a long way off and it seems a little pointless to speculate now as to what might happen later on.

Meet the teams: Belgium

On earning over 100 Belgium caps

I'm proud. Ultimately, people always say we don't win, but I started with Belgium earning my first cap sitting on the bench in front of 5,000 spectators in a stadium. Since 2014, we have seen that rise to full stadiums with everyone behind us, so our growth has been unbelievably nice to see.

It would have been nice to have achieved more with Belgium, but that has been difficult given the difference on paper between us and other countries. I just try to do my job as a player, as a team-mate, for the good of the whole team. If I can bring on other players and can teach them, then that is nice.

Belgium's road to Germany: Watch every goal

On coach Domenico Tedesco

We did some unbelievable things with [previous coach] Roberto Martínez, and achieved things that Belgium had never achieved before. So, for Tedesco, there would have been a lot of pressure. Since the 2022 World Cup, he has had to build a completely new team with a lot of younger players, so everything had to be adjusted to his philosophy of playing.

He is very open in terms of communicating. I think that, up to this day, he has done a really good job with the way the qualifying campaign progressed and how things are now going. But ultimately everything will come down to how we perform in this tournament.

On Belgium's chances

On paper, some teams are considered more of a favourite than us. But it's all about finding momentum in a tournament and, once you gain momentum, anything can happen. Hopefully, we can continue to play like we did in preparation.

Making a good start is always important. Winning your first match is good, but we won the opening match at the 2022 World Cup and we still didn't make it out of the group. We are going to try to prepare ourselves as best we can in the next few days, be ready – both mentally and physically – and hopefully we can make a good start against Slovakia.

Watch great Belgium EURO goals