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Belgium-Canada: De Bruyne questions MOTM award

WATCH: De Bruyne openly mocks decision to name him Man of the Match for Belgium-Canada clash

November 24, 2022 By Ali M.
The Manchester City star was named Man of the Match after the Red Devils' 1-0 victory over Les Rouges, but fans and even Kevin himself disagreed with this decision.

Several fans were shocked to see Kevin de Bruyne named Man of the Match for the Belgium vs. Canada showdown, and after speaking to the media, even the Manchester City star himself confessed to being in this camp!

The European giants kicked off their 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign on Wednesday, with the Red Devils taking on Canada in their Group F opener. This was the first time the North American side competed in this tournament since 1986, and with Roberto Martinez's team being one of FIFA's highest-ranked nations, many expected the Belgians to steamroll past Alphonso Davies and Co.

However, this did not occur. While the Red Devils won the game, beating Les Rouges 1-0 courtesy of a brilliant Michy Batshuayi goal, it was Canada that dominated the fixture. Profligacy in front of the goal robbed the CONCACAF nation of their very-first victory in a FIFA World Cup match, with Thibaut Courtois denying John Herdman's men on several occasions, including the early first-half penalty miss from Davies.

Eden Hazard showed moments of magic but wasn't at his sharpest while De Bruyne, Belgium's other world-class name, struggled to get a foothold in the game. Nonetheless, the brilliant playmaker was awarded the Man of the Match honor after the full-time whistle, a decision that baffled many who watched the game.

And when speaking to the media, Kevin himself also admitted to being surprised by this decision. The midfielder acknowledged that his team struggled in their Qatar 2022 opening game and even pondered whether he was given this prize simply due to his name.

"We didn't play well enough as a team. I do not know why I won Man of the Match, maybe because of my name," the 31-year-old confessed.

"Credit to Canada. We could not get through their press, we did not play a good game today, me included but we found a way to win."

While a Canadian player could have won the prize, Les Rouges boss John Herdman kept his focus on the task at hand. Speaking after the defeat, the English tactician argued that there were positives from the defeat and gave insight into his full-time speech in the dressing room.

When the Canada national team boss was asked what he said to his players after the disappointing result, he gave a hilariously honest reply: "I just told them they belong here and we're going to go and 'F' Croatia next. It's as simple as that!"

Despite Herdman's claim, the remainder of Group F is far from simple. Belgium will take on Morocco next and will look to secure their spot in the round of 16 by beating the defensively astute North Africans. On the flip side, Alphonso Davies and Co. will need to bounce back and overcome Russia 2018 runners-up Croatia, led by the iconic Luka Modric.

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