Dedryck Boyata pays tribute to Celtic spell after impressive Euro 2020 display

By John McGinley

June 14, 2021

Dedryck Boyata has credited Celtic in helping him earn international recognition and become a star for Belgium.

Boyata impressed for his country against Russia on Saturday night in a 3-0 victory. The 30-year-old was instrumental in keeping a clean sheet and providing a platform for the Group B win.

After the match, he lauded Roberto Martinez for giving him the confidence to perform at that level. He also credits his move to the Bhoys as pivotal for his career.

As quoted by The Daily Record, Boyata said: “From 2010 to 2016, when I didn’t play for Belgium, there were some difficult moments for me.

“I was coming through at Manchester City, where the competition was intense. And the decision to go to Celtic, where I played many more matches, really helped me.

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“And now I am not saying I should play, because things are always fluid. But since Roberto Martinez started picking me again, he has given me so much confidence.

“Every player has their own way of dealing with matches. But the confidence that the coach has given to me is playing a big part in my performances for Belgium. At 30 now I have matches behind me, and experience of major tournaments. I know how to deal with the pressure.

“My role against Russia was to take care of Dzyuba. We knew Russia would look to him for his power, and I was able to do what was needed to stop him.”

Belgium now have matches against Denmark and Finland to look forward to. They are one of the fancied sides to go on and win the entire tournament. It could be the last hurrah for their ‘golden generation’ of stars at a major event.

Another ex-Celt, Shaun Maloney, plays a pivotal role in the Belgian set-up as a coach too so I’m all for them doing well.

Former Celtic star Dedryck Boyata in action for Belgium / (Photo by BRUNO FAHY/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

Boyata will be hoping to keep his place in a back three that also includes Spurs talent Toby Alderweireld and Benfica star Jan Vertonghen.

The former Bhoys defender could well use Euro 2020 as a springboard for a big move elsewhere, with reports indicating he is ready to leave Hertha Berlin.

Good luck Dedryck!

In other news, Callum McGregor’s Celtic fitness promise.