Belgium vs Romania (Euro 2024)

Belgium vs Romania Player Ratings: Kevin De Bruyne at his imperious best while Romelu Lukaku’s goalscoring woes continue in Belgian win

Belgium bounced back from their shock 1-0 defeat to Slovakia in their Euro 2024 opener with a much-needed 2-0 win against Romania tonight (June 22).

Youri Tielemans took just two minutes to put his side in front with a delicate finish from the edge of the box. Romelu Lukaku somehow didn’t find the back of the net in another game where a host of chances fell his way and a third VAR call in two games ruled out one of his strikes.

Kevin De Bruyne had no problem finding the back of the net, and he did so with aplomb in the 79th minute to seal all three points. Domenico Tedesco’s men moved up to second in Group E, level on points with first-placed Romania, who weren’t at the races tonight.

Belgium National Football Team Player Ratings vs Romania


Belgium goalkeeper Koen Casteels
Belgium goalkeeper Koen Casteels (Image – Getty)

Koen Casteels – 7

The veteran Wolfsburg goalkeeper was calm and collected and on hand to keep Romania at bay when necessary. He made four saves, including an excellent one, just after the Belgians took the lead to deny Dennis Man.


Belgium defender Wout Faes
Belgium defender Wout Faes (Image – Getty)

Timothy Castagne – 6.5

The Fulham full-back wasn’t as influential as expected and sometimes looked sloppy in possession. He won most of his duels and did well when the Romanians broke forward.

Wout Faes – 6

The Leicester City defender looked somewhat phased by the occasion, but made some crucial clearances to ensure Belgium kept a clean sheet. He made two interceptions and three tackles but also an error leading to a shot. A mixed night for the tall center-back.

Jan Vertonghen – 7.5

The Anderlecht center-back’s experience paid dividends for Domenico Tedesco tonight. He was colossal at the back for the Red Devils, making five clearances and four of six ground and aerial duels.

Arthur Theate – 7

The Rennes left-back was impressed with his energy and enthusiasm and constantly asked for the ball. He ensured Romania didn’t do damage on the counter, winning two ground duels and five of his seven aerial duels.


Belgium captain Kevin De Bruyne
Belgium captain Kevin De Bruyne (Image – Getty)

Youri Tielemans – 8.5

The Aston Villa midfielder didn’t start Belgium’s defeat to Slovakia, and tonight’s display will surely make Domenico Tedesco realise that Tielemans should be starting regularly. He was lively throughout and took his goal excellently from the edge of the box to finish off a thrilling Belgian move. He made chances happen and dictated the play with the Red Devils’ other midfield maestro.

Amadou Onana – 6.5

The Everton midfielder was okay in spades for the Belgians tonight, putting out fires when needed, but not excelling like his midfield partners. That wasn’t Onana’s job, he stuck to keeping Romania at arms length while trying to help out in transition.

Kevin De Bruyne – 9 (Man of the Match)

The Manchester City playmaker didn’t put a foot wrong tonight and wreaked havoc against a Romania side that couldn’t deal with his creativity and dominance in midfield. He led by example with the armband, finishing impressively for his nation’s second. He also made three key passes and won 11 of 16 ground duels.


Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku
Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku (Image – Getty)

Dodi Lukebakio – 6.5

The Sevilla attacker was the least threatening of the front three tonight and should have got himself on the scoresheet when Kevin De Buryne inevitably conjured up a huge chance. He couldn’t reach the level of Jeremy Doku on the other flank, and he’ll miss the clash with Ukraine.

Romelu Lukaku – 7

Another night and another goalless game for the usually prolific Belgian center-forward. He had the ball in the back of the net and thought he’d scored thanks to De Bruyne’s slick pass but was ruled offside by the slimmest of margins. His frustrating Euro 2024 campaign in front of goal continued, but he was excellent at setting up Youri Tielemans’ opener.

Jeremy Doku – 7.5

The Manchester City winger’s pace gave Romania’s defense all sorts of problems as he drove right at them and caused havoc. He made five key passes and looked like the formidable Cityzens attacker during the first half of last season.


Zeno Debast – 6

Orel Mangala – 5.5

Yannick Carrasco – 6.5

Leandro Trossard – 5.5


Domenico Tedesco – 7

It was a brave decision to drop Leandro Trossard, but it paid off as the Red Devils bounced back with a much-needed victory. It will be interesting to see how he puts out his side to face Ukraine.

Romania National Football Team Player Ratings vs Belgium


Romania goalkeeper Florin Nita
Romania goalkeeper Florin Nita (Image – Getty)

Florin Nita – 7

The Gaziantep veteran shot-stopper was arguably one of Romania’s best performers on the night despite conceding two goals. He made seven saves, including impressive stops to deny a powerful Romelu Lukaku shot and Kevin De Bruyne’s attempt.


Romania defender Radu Dragusin
Romania defender Radu Dragusin (Image – Getty)

Andrei Ratiu – 5.5

The Rayo Vallecano right-back struggled up against Jeremy Doku, who toyed with him with his silky skillset. He looked devoid of ideas going forward, having spent most of the night trying to keep the Belgian winger at bay.

Radu Dragusin – 6.5

The Tottenham defender was excellent at the back, and his defensive display explained why Spurs were eager to win the race for his signature. He made seven clearances and was unlucky to end up on the losing side.

Andrei Burca – 5

The Al-Okhdood center-back has plenty of experience, but he was missing tonight as he looked hesitant in Cologne. Kevin De Bruyne had so much time and space whenever he ventured into the areas he was supposed to occupy.

Nicusor Bancu – 5.5

The Universitatea Craiova left-back never really got control of the game and was equally as lackluster defensively when up against the almighty De Bruyne. He also didn’t pose a threat going forward and Romania struggled on their wings because of the lack of momentum from the back.


Romania midfielder Razvan Marin
Romania midfielder Razvan Marin (Image – Getty)

Marius Marin – 6

The Pisa midfielder looks like a real talent when he’s in possession, spreading the play with neat passes and a good eye for goal. That all falls apart when he’s out of possession, often chasing shadows and struggling to impose himself. He’s a good and bad watch but definitely merits his starting role.

Razvan Marin – 7.5

There is a reason why Razvan is playing in Serie A with Empoli, while many of his teammates are playing at a lower level. He was Romania’s standout performer with his energy in midfield and his defensive nous, making four tackles and four recoveries; Edward Iordanescu should count his lucky stars this star in his squad.

Nicolae Stanciu – 6

He never really got going in midfield, and that was because of De Bruyne and Tielemans’ superiority in possession and athleticism when breaking forward. The Damac man captained the side, but looked lost.


Romania striker Dragun Dragin
Romania striker Denis Dragus (Image – Getty)

Dennis Man – 4.5

A poor outing for the Parma winger, held in high regard by many in Romanian football. He lost most of his ground and aerial duels and didn’t click on the right wing, rarely influencing play.

Denis Dragus – 4.5

The Trabzonspor forward was quiet and rarely involved in Cologne before being brought off in the 81st minute. He didn’t register a single shot.

Mihai Valentin Mihaila – 5.5

Another Romanian attacker who struggled to display his talent up against a seething Belgium side that wanted to kickstart their Euro 2024 campaign. He managed to cause some issues with his pace, but nothing too problematic for the Belgians.


Darius Olaru – 5

Ianis Hagi – 6

Deian Sorescu – 5

Denis Alibec – 5


Edward Iordanescu – 6

The Romania boss can’t be faulted for guiding his nation to Euro 2024 and their memorable win against Ukraine in their opener. Tonight’s team selection told of a manager who was dreaming of the knockout stages and didn’t think pragmatically enough.