Kevin de Bruyne: England have potential for major titles

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scores for England
Dominic Calvert-Lewin marked his England debut with a goal against Wales

Belgium's Kevin de Bruyne believes England should be leading candidates at next year's European Championship and the 2022 World Cup.

The Manchester City midfielder will be part of the Belgium side against England in the Nations League at Wembley on Sunday (17:00 BST kick-off).

Both teams reached the World Cup semi-finals in Russia two years ago.

"They should be very excited," the 29-year-old said of England. "It's a very young team with a lot of potential."

England have not won a major trophy since the 1966 World Cup but De Bruyne, who was voted last season's Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year, said: "They should aim to win the next Euros and World Cup. I think they have that potential.

"There are always a lot of teams who want to win it, but I think the team they have - the players who play in top clubs - they should do that."

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez agreed that England counterpart Gareth Southgate has an impressive squad at his disposal.

"His players are as good as anyone individually in world football and it is just a matter of time that they will get that trophy or major result in a major tournament," said former Swansea, Wigan and Everton boss Martinez.

England, ranked fourth in the world, warmed up for Sunday's match with a 3-0 victory against Wales at Wembley on Thursday, with goals from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Conor Coady and Danny Ings, while Jack Grealish impressed on his first senior start.

Belgium, top of the Fifa rankings, beat England twice at the 2018 World Cup, but they will be without key forwards Dries Mertens and Eden Hazard on Sunday.

De Bruyne 'open' to new Man City deal

Kevin de Bruyne
Kevin de Bruyne has made 158 Premier League appearances for City

De Bruyne has revealed he is open to a new contract with Manchester City but says no discussions have taken place.

He joined City from Wolfsburg for £55m in August 2015 and has two and a half years to run on his existing deal.

There has been recent speculation in the mediaexternal-link over a new two-year contract at Etihad Stadium.

De Bruyne has won two Premier League titles, four League Cups and the FA Cup during his spell with City.

"I have not spoken once to the club so I don't know why people are saying I have already agreed to something," he said.

"I always told everybody I am really happy at the club and I feel comfortable, so if the people at the club want to talk to me I am open to that and we will see what happens.

"But at the moment nothing has happened."

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