“The qualities to do something great”, “Satisfied only if we are in the final”: the Red Devils are ambitious

“The qualities to do something great”, “Satisfied only if we are in the final”: the Red Devils are ambitious
“The qualities to do something great”, “Satisfied only if we are in the final”: the Red Devils are ambitious

After the first training session behind closed doors, Charles De Ketelaere was the first to attend a press conference. The opportunity for him to speak about his role within the Red Devils. But also his great season at Atalanta.

This Thursday, his club also formalized his transfer and will still remain in the club where he was on loan. “I feel good at Atalanta”he began. “I am happy that it is now finished and in order. Milan is a good team, but in my position it was better to continue at Atalanta. I have become physically stronger and I make better choices, thanks to the higher pace in Serie A. I have also developed some muscular strength.”

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Despite everything, he only played 90 minutes four times with Gasperini. Not a problem for someone who changed their haircut. “It’s Gasperini’s style to change a lot in attacking positions”he explained. “We have an intense style of play and we have a lot of good players up front. If you give everything for 70 minutes, it’s good for the coach to bring in another good striker who can break the deadlock.”

Among the Red Devils, the player was especially taken for his versatility. Given that there are two attackers selected, he could occupy the number nine spot. Not a problem for him. “I’m here to help the team in any way I can.”he clutched. “The national coach has already explained to me the different roles that I can occupy. If I have to play, I will be 100% ready. My strength? I can play in several positions. Whether on the right, on the left, as a striker or behind him, in my opinion that’s where I have the best chance of playing.”

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De Ketelaere also showed ambition. “We have a lot of desire and the qualities to do something great. Once the group stage is over, a lot of things are possible. We are not the big favorites, but we have the opportunity to win matches.”

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Subsequently, it was Yannick Carrasco who arrived to discuss his personal situation. He first returned to his season in Saudi Arabia. “The start of the season was very difficult with poor results. Then, we had better performances to finish the season well. Personally, I feel very good physically. We did physical tests with teammates and I was pretty good. If I was the best? We can say yes”he said, laughing.

At the championship level, Carrasco has made no secret. “I knew Spain which is one of the best championships. So obviously, it’s different. But I also experienced China and the level is much higher. I would say there are four or five very good teams.”

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On his role in the national team, Carrasco took the place of a big brother. Human and technical qualities which are appreciated by Domenico Tedesco. “The national coach gave me confidence from the first day. I returned the favor with my experience, my intensity and my work when I lost the ball. He appreciates that I always work for the team and not for myself.”

On the pitch, however, he knows that his position is the one where the competition is fiercest with Doku, Lukebakio, Trossard and Bakayoko. “Our styles are really different”he assured. “The starters will play according to our opponents. When you look at the games we played, there was a lot of turnover.”

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According to him, there is a different atmosphere than during the last tournament in Qatar. “In addition to individual and collective qualities, group cohesion is what will take us far. And she’s really, really good. No one stays in their own corner and we all do activities together. For many, this is their first tournament and everyone is very hungry. The Qatar experience also made us more mature and made us look at a tournament differently.”

As Charles De Ketelaere said, Yannick Carrasco and the Red Devils are very ambitious. “As a favorite there is a lot more pressure. Being an outsider is good, but everyone knows you want to go as far as possible.” The outside world speaks of a quarter-final as the minimum. Carrasco doesn’t see it that way. “I won’t be satisfied until I reach the final. Otherwise, we don’t have a winning mentality.”

After Monday’s match (6 p.m.) against Slovakia, the Belgians will play on June 22 (9 p.m.) against Romania in Cologne and will close their Group E matches against Ukraine on June 26 (6 p.m.) in Stuttgart.

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