Belgium boss Marc Wilmots could not offer an explanation for De Bruyne’s below par showing against Italy.
Belgium were condemned to a 2-0 loss against Italy in the opening match of the Euro 2016, with the Manchester City man putting in a dull performance.
Asked for an explanation of De Bruyne’s peripheral role in a potentially damaging defeat, Wilmots said: “I don’t know how to answer you.
“If I had an explanation I’d give you one. Is the kid tired after a busy season? Yes, perhaps. He’s not quite been at full pelt in training but he’s been preparing for this fixture.
“Kevin has given so much for the national team over the last four years that you shouldn’t just expect me to slate him. That’s why I left him on the field. He’s always capable of scoring a free-kick, banging it in from range or providing an assist.”