‘I can only thank him for the kind words’ – Tielemans accepts the praise from Kenny as he heads Belgium for the Ireland Test


If he wasn’t such a good footballer, Youri Tielemans might have landed a job in the Belgian diplomatic corps.

When the Leicester City midfielder was told that Ireland manager Stephen Kenny had called him ‘one of the most desirable midfielders in Europe’, Tielemans was full of compliments at a press conference at the Aviva Stadium.

“I can only thank him for the kind words. I try to be a better player and a better person in every game,” said the man who scored the winning goal in last year’s FA Cup final at Wembley. “I’m an experienced player now and I hope to progress.”

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has decided not to use a player with more than 50 caps for his clash against Ireland on Saturday, meaning the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku or Thibaut Courtois will not be on the Lansdowne Road pitch will be seen.

But Belgium still have a wealth of riches in their national team – so much so that Liverpool striker Divock Origi is unlikely to feature in the starting XI.

Belgium’s trip to Qatar later this year may be a last chance at serious success for their ‘Golden Generation’. They have been close at the last two championships, only beaten by France at the 2018 World Cup and Italy at last year’s Euros, both eventual winners.

Tielemans will captain Belgium in this game to mark the FAI’s 100th anniversary and he has no intention of experimenting with team changes or not.

“If we play well against Ireland and lose, I’ll be very disappointed. You always want both, you want victory and performance too. We noticed a change in the Irish style and did a little analysis, so we’re really looking forward to the game.”

Possible Belgian team (3-4-2-1): Mignolet (Bruges); Boyata (Hertha BSC), Denayer (Lyon), Theate (Bologna); Saelemaekers (AC Milan), Tielemans (Leicester), Vanaken (Bruges), T Hazard (Borussia Dortmund); Trossard (Brighton), De Ketelaere (Bruges); Batshuayi (Beşiktas).

https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/international-soccer/i-can-only-thank-him-for-the-kind-words-tielemans-accepts-kenny-praise-as-he-captains-belgium-for-ireland-test-41488427.html ‘I can only thank him for the kind words’ – Tielemans accepts the praise from Kenny as he heads Belgium for the Ireland Test

Fry Electronics Team

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