'No one knew anything in advance' - Cyriel Dessers praises Belgium team for not leaking starting XI

Published: June 17, 2024
'No one knew anything in advance' - Cyriel Dessers praises Belgium team for not leaking starting XI

Cyriel Dessers is delighted with the atmosphere within the Belgium national team despite losing 1-0 to Slovakia in their 2024 European Championship opener on Monday.

An early goal from Ivan Schranz decided the outcome of the contest held at Deutsche Bank Park.

Rangers striker Dessers praised the Red Devils players for not leaking the starting lineup to the media before today's clash.

Belgium manager Domenico Tedesco took a lot of people by surprise with the inclusion of Manchester City's Jérémy Doku and Arsenal's Leandro Trossard in the attack.

Wout Faes and Zeno Debast were the centre-bacls named in the starting lineup, while Yannick Carrasco was preferred over Maxim De Cuyper for the left-back position.

Leaking of starting lineups could give the opponents an advantage even without a ball being kicked.

Dessers, who was on punditry duties for the Belgium versus Slovakia match, was quoted as saying by Voetbalkrant: "It is indeed striking that no one knew anything in advance. That has been different in the past.

"Usually you know in advance who will play. In the dressing room everyone is tight-lipped and even the style of play has not yet been revealed. That is an advantage,"

Tongeren native Dessers is still eligible to represent Belgium, his country of birth, since the matches he played for the Super Eagles did not commit him to Nigeria, his mother's homeland.

The 29-year-old, who has earned six caps for the Super Eagles, was not cap-tied in competitive matches under former Nigeria manager Jose Peseiro. 

Ifeanyi Emmanuel

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