The midfielder admits the Red Devils were lucky to beat the 2016 winner in their round 16 tie
Axel Witsel has admitted that Belgium have stopped “playing” against Portugal in the last 20 minutes, and says they will have to be brave enough to beat Italy in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals.
Belgium reached the last eight of the Summer Tournament with a 1-0 victory over Portugal in their 16 rounds, with Thorgen Hazard’s surprise first-half strike finally making the difference between the two sides.
The Red Devils had a little bit of fun, however, in the other 45 minutes most of them camped in their half, and Whitsell warns that when they can’t afford to lift their feet from the gas like that. When he meets Italy
Whitsell is crying
Asked to consider Belgium’s chances against Italy, who beat Austria 2-1 after extra time to qualify for the quarter-finals, the Borussia Dortmund midfielder told a pre-match press conference. Said: “I think we have more players individually, they have a very strong unit in particular.
“It will be a battle and I think we have to be brave. Not against Portugal in the last twenty minutes, when we stopped playing a little bit of football.
“We just defended at the time. We shouldn’t make the same mistake again.”
Witzel was left out of Belgium’s opening group game against Russia as he continued to recover from Achilles’ injury, but has since highlighted all three of his fixtures in the Euros.
“I am very happy that I have already played three matches,” the 32-year-old added. “Of course it was tough, because I was physically behind.
“The second day after the first match was tough, but I recovered. I feel ready for Italy.”
Who can play Belgium in the semi-finals?
If Belgium beat Italy, they will be awarded the last four tie against Croatia’s winners Spain or Switzerland, who knocked out world champions France in the final round.
The Martینnez team will then face one of the four teams in the second draw in the final at Wimbledon, with England facing the Czech Republic in the remaining quarter-final relationship with Ukraine and Denmark.
What else did Whitsell say?
Whitsell also embarked on a club career journey, which also involved him at Stand Ledge, Benfica, Zenit St. Petersburg and the Chinese organization Tianjin Koenjin.
The veteran playmaker was pressured at one point to switch to Italian giants Juventus, but insists he will not change anything about the way he goes through the professional ranks.
“I had the opportunity to sign there [for Juve] A few times, but I chose another destination, “Witsel said.” I definitely don’t regret it. I will take whatever decision I make.