Belgium lost 2-1 to Roberto Mancini’s men, battling to the end, and ahead of the game, they welcomed back key midfielder De Bruyne from injury.
The Manchester City playmaker missed the beginning of the tournament after suffering facial fractures in the Champions League final, and after working his way back to fitness a nasty tackle in the last-16 win over Portugal left him unable to train for much of the preparations for Italy.
De Bruyne, who match fitness had been uncertain up to kickoff, himself admitted it was a miracle that he was able to play in the match.
Revealing the details of his injury after the Italy defeat, as cited by Manchester Evening News, he said: “For me personally it has been four or five weird weeks.
“But I especially want to thank the medical staff. It was a miracle that I played today because there was definitely damage to my ankle. A tear in my ligaments.
“But I felt responsibility to play for my country today. Too bad I couldn’t do more.”
These Grealish’s comment has prompt plenty of Sky Blues, who will be hoping his ankle injury recovers ahead of his return to the club this summer, to react on social media.
finally, some rest for Kev. just be fit for start of next season.— 🌃 (@lnGoodKompany) July 2, 2021
Head up @DeBruyneKev 💙— Martha🏴 (@martha2144) July 2, 2021
She shouldn’t have play, that was reckless— M-almuhairi (@M_Muhairi93) July 3, 2021
What about a responsibility to the people who pay his exorbitant salary?— Michael Wilson (@Cafelover259) July 3, 2021
@ManCity should be upset they’ve allowed him to play with a torn ligament but we’re spineless fc..— 👁🗨 (@mcfc1O) July 2, 2021
At least he gets a well deserved rest now, ready for the season— Olly (@MCFCHag) July 2, 2021