Kevin De Bruyne has revealed he was 'afraid' of going in for duels on occasions during his comeback from injury.
The Manchester City talisman made a dazzling return to the pitch on Thursday as he inspired Belgium to a comeback victory over Denmark and helped them advance to the knockout stages.
De Bruyne's participation in Euro 2020 had looked in doubt when he was substituted after a collision with Antiono Rudiger in the Champions League final defeat to Chelsea.
The 29-year-old suffered an acute nose bone fracture and left orbital fracture but made a quick recovery after undergoing a short surgery last week with the agreement of City medical staff.
It kept him out of Belgium's opening victory against Russia but he was able to return on Thursday and was introduced as a half-time substitute with the 'Red Devils' a goal down and struggling against the spirited Danes.
Yet De Bruyne turned the game on its head after he combined wonderfully with Romelu Lukaku before teeing up Thorgan Hazard for the equaliser just nine minutes after coming on.
The provider turned scorer to clinch the game, as De Bruyne finished off a beautiful move by firing the ball home from the edge of the box.
De Bruyne has admitted he found some aspects of his return difficult, which doesn't bode well for Belgium's future opponents if he was able to do so much while only half-fit.
"How it was? heavy. Of course the last two months have been up and down for me with minor injuries. After that fracture in the nose and eye socket it was a bit of a wait," De Bruyne said, via journalist Sven Claes.
"But luckily I came back in the fastest way. Very good intensity for half an hour, after that I did feel it, but I'm glad I was able to play.
“On my left side I feel nothing, no feeling. Like at the dentist. The nerve is very badly affected. This can take up to six months. A very unpleasant feeling, but the most important thing is that I can play.
“My performance was okay, I also had other moments. In duels sometimes still afraid to face a duel, but that is normal. Glad I was able to help the team and have shown resilience.
“Ready for 90 [minutes]? No diet, wait to see how my body reacts and we'll see after Finland. We are already calibrated so we can see how my body reacts then.”