”Abominable match”, “Not mastered much”, “Belgium is less competitive”: the international press not very complimentary with the Red Devils

Like the Belgian press, the international media are quite skeptical after the victory of the Red Devils against Canada, after having been roughed up for a good part of the meeting.

Starting with our colleagues from the team. “Shaken but alive”, headlines the French daily. Before detailing: “At the end of an abominable match in sequence, shaken in all compartments by daring Canadians, spared by a refereeing body which did not whistle against her two obvious penalties (14th, 38th) and saved by her goalkeeper, we asks again, this morning, how Belgium managed to win yesterday against the “Cannucks” […] Michy Batshuayi flashed through the desert. The Fenerbahçe center-forward converted the only Belgian opportunity of the evening. The statistics (2.61 expected Canadian goals against 0.76) pretty much sum up the balance of power yesterday, at the Ahmed-Ben-Ali stadium.

The Red Devils were aware of their poor performance against Canada: “It was the worst game but we won”

The magazine So Foot insisted on the feeling of relief that inhabited Roberto Martinez and the Belgian people when the end of the match was whistled. “In his technical area, Martinez clapped with relief and if a first World Cup match is not easy for anyone, we will remember that this one was particularly uncomfortable for Belgians who have not mastered much. ”

In the Spanish press, things are racing for Thibaut Courtois. “Playing with Courtois is an advantage”, writes Marca. “One of the keys to being able to do something in a tournament like the World Cup is that, on a bad day, you are able to win. That’s what Belgium did against Canada. Belgium’s best player was their goalkeeper. He had more work than expected. His intervention after ten minutes (note: on the penalty) was the most decisive but it was not the only one”. Marca don’t forget to highlight Batshuayi’s fine work on his goal. “He did magic. The Fenerbahçe striker collected a long ball from his defense and scored the goal on his own. A strike with the left foot which avoided a problem from the start of the World Cup in Belgium”.

For AS, these Belgians are not candidates for the title. “Whoever deserved the most didn’t win. Belgium beat outstanding Canada in a game where they shouldn’t have taken all three points […] The match was an opportunity to see if Belgium could be considered a serious title contender. The truth is that, for now, it leaves a lot of doubts.”

It clashed between Alderweireld and De Bruyne: “We are not altar boys”

Note that AS was quite critical with Eden Hazard, yet author of a good hour of play. “Hazard, after a difficult week, started and failed to win”, while Marca give it the minimum rating of one star. The Brainois seems to still have some work to do to convince Spain that he can get closer to his best level.

In England, the Sun is very hard on Belgium. “For a team of so-called stars, they really weren’t that great. Kevin De Bruyne is now just the only world-class player in Belgium and he was the worst of the lot. Is Belgium experienced or just aging? It didn’t take long to find out”writes the tabloid.

In the Gazetta Dello Sport, however, there is a little more positivism. “There are certain clear and indisputable victories. And there are successes as ugly as they are precious. That of the Belgians falls into this category. Roberto Martinez’s team seems less competitive than that of the last major tournaments. But they take three important points in view of the round of 16 after finishing the game better than they started it.

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