|Kevin de Bruyne|
|Desc||His legacy will be defined by what comes next, but at his peak, De Bruyne might be the finest midfield seen in the Premier League. After City pounced on the Belgian just a few years after Chelsea’s foolish decision to sell him, De Bruyne’s dynamism has seen him able to influence games no matter the circumstances. Capable of swiping the ball into the top corner from distance, whip the ball around corners for team-mates to chase or simply to establish a pattern of possession, De Bruyne has it all|
|Org||Belgium National Team|
|Club as Player||Manchester City|
|Werder Bremen [Loan]|
2018 07 09 Retrieve
[One of the keys to Belgium’s players joining Thierry Henry in potentially claiming that rarefied status of being World Cup winners will be the performance of Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne against Les Bleus] Maybe he’s going to sing La Marseillaise, which I would find normal. It could be a little bit difficult but he’s working for Belgium now and he wants us to win. It’s his job, that’s football
2019 01 19 Retrieve
[Kevin de Bruyne on winning] Winning. I can’t stand to lose. Even at home, playing board games with the missus, the son, whatever, I can’t lose against them. It’s just the way I am. It just drives me to keep going and to become probably the best I can be in football
2019 04 06 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne believes the future is bright for England] I told the England guys a week ago that [they] should win the Euros. I think they are favourites, with France. I see the guys already established, and those coming up, so the future looks really good. Will they win it? I don’t know, because only one team can win it, but you have a chance to do well in the next ten years
2019 06 07 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne does not expect Belgium team-mate Eden Hazard to finalise a switch to Real Madrid until next week at the earliest] First and foremost, Eden is still the same. We are all professional here. Everyone has played with transfer problems. He is not the first and will not be the last. We are not busy with his transfer. He knows what to do. He has to work for a few more days and then he also has a vacation. Then he has enough time to arrange everything. If the transfer comes, it won’t be in the next four or five days. Why would he do that? Why would he take that risk? Now everyone is watching him.
[Opening up on his own switch from Wolfsburg to Manchester City in 2015] We worked on it for months, but I waited until I was free to go there. That will happen now. Not much is played, so the journalists have a lot of time for Eden Hazard. He is now the story, so he will wait a while
[De Bruyne does not necessarily see the Hazard’s chances of winning the individual accolade improving should he leave Stamford Bridge] I do not know if he will be a leader [at Madrid] immediately. There are other leaders there already, so he will not immediately become a captain. His Ballon d’Or hopes remain the same. Real Madrid is a bigger name than Chelsea, but if he plays like this season, he has a chance
2019 07 19 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne would gladly accept the opportunity to fill Vincent Kompany’s boots at Manchester City and become the club’s new captain] If the team wants me to be captain I will gladly accept it. But, I think everyone needs to talk about it as a team and as a club. It will be spoken about when everyone comes back. I think we need to do that together because it’s really important job not only on the pitch but off it.
[De Bruyne said of the academy hopefuls after seeing senior debuts handed out in a 4-1 Premier League Asia Trophy win over West Ham] If you play for one of the best clubs players in the world, to be a youth player and get through you have to be exceptional. I started in Belgium, the level is not the same as it is here, it’s maybe easier to get more chances. If you want to play for us you know what the level is and if you perform on the pitch you will get the chance. I think they did really well and I’m happy to see that. A great moment for many of them to start for the first time for a club like us
2019 07 28 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne is confident the fitness problems that plagued him last season are in the past] I’m fine. What happened last year happens to everybody. I have been a professional for 11 years now and had one season where I had some injuries. But by the end of the year I still played 32 games while a lot of players only do that every year. I just get on with it. Now I feel good. I’m happy I could play a whole pre-season. I’m doing well.
It’s always a tough ask because you travel a lot and you need to do a lot of commercial activity and in another sense you need to prepare yourself physically. August is a little bit quieter. It starts really in September for us, when all the European games come. Obviously next week is a game when we can win a trophy, so we want to be ready to play a good game against Liverpool
[Guardiola said that Yokohama had ‘incredible quality’ and De Bruyne praised the J-League club too] It was a really good game. I was very impressed with how Yokohama played. They gave us a good game and I’m happy with the way we performed. We needed this game to get more rhythm and I think it was a good way to end preseason
2019 07 28b Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne says having a break from the game will allow him to return to the Premier League champions mentally refreshed and free from the injury problems that blighted his 2018-19 season] I ran the first week after national team and then I did nothing for three weeks. I just wanted to be away. I run a lot with the kids anyway, so I burn a lot of energy, but I just wanted to be away from football. I have been playing for two years straight. I just wanted to enjoy myself a little bit. I did some trips with family and friends. I knew I had enough time to prepare myself for the season, so that’s what I decided to do
[De Bruyne’s goals and assists have made him virtually undroppable for Pep Guardiola] Physically you can be always okay but I think it’s more mentally. It’s tough to go two straight years for everybody and not have a proper break. That is what happened the last two years.
[De Bruyne scored and assisted in the final tour game, a 3-1 win over J-League side Yokohama F Marinos, and he believes providing team-mates with a chance to score is the key to his game] It is my job. My main objective is to put my team-mates in the position where they are able to score a goal. It went well a couple of times
2019 07 29 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne says summer signing Rodri is the perfect replacement for Fernandinho in the heart of Manchester City’s midfield] I think he is doing really well. Obviously it’s a position that is really difficult to find but I think they definitely found the right man. He has got time enough to settle in and I think he is going to do well
2019 08 04 Retrieve
[Liverpool vs Manchester City. New signing Rodri has been likened to Guardiola’s old Barcelona lynchpin Sergio Busquets , but perhaps more significant is the return of Kevin De Bruyne] It’s always important because it’s a trophy you can win and it sets the standard for the whole year. You want to set the standard from the beginning
2019 08 05 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne believes Manchester City new boy Rodri is the perfect fit for Pep Guardiola’s defending Premier League champions] He’s a perfect fit for us. I think the way that we did transfers the last years add up. You see a lot of young talent coming in willing to play our style. I think that’s what they’re looking for and he’s a perfect fit for us
[He won all of his aerial duels against Liverpool and gained possession nine times - again the highest figure in that metric] I think he’s the perfect [defensive midfielder] for the way we want to play. Our DM is a really difficult position. You need certain players for it and there’s not a lot of people who can do both sides of it. Obviously we’re very good on the ball. You can’t just be defensive, you have to be offensive also
[Working well in tandem with Rodri, De Bruyne turned in an all-action display as City were the better side in the first-half, taking a 12th-minute lead through Raheem Sterling] It wouldn’t be different with Fernandinho there. It’s maybe a difference with last year because I’m feeling physically better than I did last year. I needed more time. I think the way he’s performed in pre-season and in training has been phenomenal. To be the new guy and still be on this level is a good sign
2019 08 18 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne believes he is still yet to reach his best despite putting last season’s fitness struggles behind him by making a tremendous start to the new Premier League campaign] I feel good and I’m becoming better. It’s still the beginning of the season, so sometimes it’s heavy [going], but I feel fine, so everything will be OK this season
[Tottenham twice pegged City back to earn a point, but De Bruyne felt his side did enough to win the match and has targeted a response away at Bournemouth next Sunday] We played well and I think we deserved to win. The team played really well and played offensively the way we want to play. We didn’t get the three points, but that’s the only thing we didn’t get. We want to win every game but it’s very difficult. We deserved to win and we will go again next week and everything will be fine
[De Bruyne welcomed the new additions, and said they were bedding in in Manchester] They are doing really well. Joao Cancelo only joined us last week so he probably needs a bit more adjusting (time) but both of them will really help us to play well
2019 08 18b Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne blasts new handball rules after Man City are sunk by VAR again] They made this rule, it’s new. When I saw the video [of the incident], it’s impossible [for Laporte] to take his arm away. What can he do? Should he chop his arm off and play without it? There’s nothing he can do because Nico Otamendi is ten centimetres in front of him and trying to head the ball. You can’t react in that space and amount of time. So make it clear - handball both sides.
2019 08 25 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne has set a new best in the Premier League after helping his side take the lead against Bournemouth on Sunday] I feel good and I’m becoming better. It’s still the beginning of the season, so sometimes it’s heavy [going], but I feel fine, so everything will be OK this season
2019 08 26 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne may already be top of the tree when it comes to Premier League assists this season, but the Manchester City midfielder says he is still to find his best] [The assist] that doesn’t really matter. A lot of people talk about that but I just don’t think I played the best game. It’s one of those games, August, for me, I’m just trying to find a rhythm and then September is easier. I think the first two games we played better, yesterday was more tough, but I think it’s normal when you play against a team that plays 5-4-1, it makes it more tougher, you need to be more patient but in the end you need to win games in different manners and I think that’s what we did
It’s always nice to have something like that in the books. It doesn’t really matter but maybe in 20 years back I can look back and say I accomplished something. This one was very lucky but they all count. It makes me happy because I tried to find my team-mates and if they score I get the assist, so it’s like a co-operation, I try to provide them and they score it!
[Kompany is trying to implement a new playing style inspired by three seasons working under Pep Guardiola, and compatriot De Bruyne has backed him to be a success long-term] I spoke with him a few times, he’s enjoying it. The games that I saw I think they’re playing really well, they’re missing a striker for the moment but I think he had a very tough job. I think he had like 50 players at the beginning of the season and had to let 25 players go, and he gained 10 players, it’s nearly impossible. And then put another philosophy into it, it’s very difficult. Obviously he didn’t start well in terms of points but I can understand it a little bit because he is trying to play a style that we did and obviously we had growing pains, so I can understand that. Football is a business where you get points but I think he will get time. In Belgium only one is relegated so I don’t think he needs to worry about that! If he gets the time that will be nice
[De Bruyne insists it will take time for Kompany to turn things around] He’s been a manager for like two months, so what do you expect? To go there and win every game? It’s not like this in football. I think there’s a lot of people who want him to fail, because to do this job, to be player and a manager, some people don’t like it but I know Vinny pretty well and he probably won’t care what people say about it.
2019 08 26b Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne says Vincent Kompany will be a success at Anderlecht if he is given time] He’s been a manager for like two months, so what do you expect? To go there and win every game? It’s not like this in football. I think there’s a lot of people who want him to fail, because to do this job, to be player and a manager, some people don’t like it. I know Vinny pretty well and he probably won’t care what people say about it. I spoke with him a few times, he’s enjoying it. The games that I saw I think they’re playing really well, they’re missing a striker for the moment, but I think he had a very tough job. Obviously he didn’t start well in terms of points, but I can understand it a little bit because he is trying to play a style that we did [at City] and obviously we had growing pains, so I can understand that. Football is a business where you get points, but I think he will get time. In Belgium only one is relegated, so I don’t think he needs to worry about that! If he gets the time, that will be nice
2019 09 01 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne accepts it will be a blow for Manchester City if Aymeric Laporte’s knee injury is serious] It’s always a shame when people get injured. It’s not nice for the team or for the person when you are away for long. We already have Leroy [unavailable] so if Aymeric is out for a couple of months it’s a blow for us. But on the other hand, we have to deal with it. We lost Vinnie already but it gives possibilities to other people and hopefully John Stones will be back soon and hopefully we will be okay
[The Belgium international, who only scored twice in the Premier League in an injury-hit 2018-19, never doubted he would be able to regain top form] Last year was last year. I’ve started the season really well and I feel okay and the team is doing good. We’ve just played four games and there’s still 65 to go in all competitions. It’s a hard season, we need everybody. I’m happy with the way I’ve come back, but that was never in doubt
2019 09 11 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne has revealed he plans to join former Manchester City team-mate Vincent Kompany at Anderlecht] I hope his career will be just as amazing at Anderlecht as it was at City. I’ve told him to keep a place in his team for me in a year, or seven, when I’m finished here [at Man City]. If he does do that for me I will already have my next destination lined up; my next job. I will definitely miss him being around City
[The forward has given an insight into the role played by Kompany in his decision to make the move to Etihad Stadium four years ago] At the time City were trying to sign me from Wolfsburg and Vinny was pushing for me to move to Manchester to play alongside him. He would constantly ask me when I was coming. He would say ‘you need to come’, constantly encouraging me to join City
2019 09 16 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne has reminded those writing Manchester City off that they fell seven points off the pace last season before staging a stirring fightback to beat Liverpool to the Premier League title] Last season we were seven points behind - it happens. Of course we want to win every game but it is difficult. You have to respect the other team and when they do well. They do well and that is it. It will be tough, the next seven months, like last year. It never stops. It is our job and sometimes it is hard but you have to take it on the chin. We lost four games out of 38 last season and that is a good record. We can still win this season with the same points at the end of this season
We’ve got so many games going on so sometimes he [Guardiola] is going to make a change for whatever reason, you just have to take it and then if you can help the team…You know there’s no point in saying I’m on the bench so we lost - that’s not the reason. You know it’s going to be a difficult task at 3-1. I tried to help the team but it wasn’t enough. I think we put a little pressure on them but I think they defended really well so in the end we scored too late
2019 09 20 Retrieve
[When asked by for advice he would give to younger players] The main thing is to have fun as a kid. I still enjoy my football, even if it’s a job
2019 10 01 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne out of Dinamo Zagreb game as Manchester City set no timescale on recovery from injury] The extent of his layoff depends on how well he responds to the rehabilitation programme overseen by the club’s medical staff
2019 10 26 Retrieve
[The Premier League have awarded David Silva with Manchester City’s second goal against Aston Villa after Kevin De Bruyne had earlier admitted he had no idea who should be credited with it] No, I don’t think so, David said he touched it so I have no idea!
I think we had some difficulties today coming out, maybe a little bit of a lack of intensity, the rhythm wasn’t really there. But even then, in the first half we had a couple of chances to go in front. The second half started really well with Raz’s [Sterling] goal and then after that we had a good performance. In the first half they had a couple of counter-attacks and we didn’t cope with that well at times, but that’s going to happen. We played on Tuesday, they had all week [to prepare] so sometimes they’re a little bit fresher. I think in the end we deserved to win. We’re just doing our job. It’s such a long competition. We’ve done really well after the international break, won three in a row, so let’s keep it going
[De Bruyne, though, called for calm when it was suggested that the Etihad outfit might be facing a crisis] You guys say the same thing whatever happens or whoever gets injured! It’s part of the game, obviously, we have a lot of injuries but I think we’re coping with it really well. It’s not nice because you want everybody to be there but it is what it is
2019 11 07 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne says he cannot wait to step into the red-hot atmosphere of Anfield for Manchester City’s crunch clash with Liverpool] The big games are the ones you want to play, and if you want to compete for titles you have to be the best. The media will make a lot of it, and people have been talking about it for the whole week, even before the Champions League, but we just do our job, keep calm and prepare ourselves. I prefer to play in [a big atmosphere] than when there is nobody. Professionals want t play in front of 50, 60, 70, 80 thousand people and it makes it worthwhile. You train all your life to get to the big stages. I want to compete for titles and to be the best, and to do that you have to win against the best
[De Bruyne insists it is too early to worry about chasing down their rivals, with Liverpool still top of the table irrespective of the result] Obviously it’s a big gap but four weeks ago people were saying it was Liverpool’s to lose. I’m not keeping track of what people say, we play so many games. We want to be ahead, but we’ve lost points. People will talk about it whether we win, lose or draw, it’s for them to say what they want
[De Bruyne says they will move on from that match and prepare for their top-of-the-table clash in the same way they get ready for every game] It’s a game like another. We know it’s a big game - Liverpool are ahead, and we have to go back, recover and be ready for next Sunday
2019 11 09 Retrieve
[Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne says he is not too scared about first-choice goalkeeper Ederson missing Sunday’s huge clash with Premier League leaders Liverpool] It’s obviously a blow because he’s our first-choice goalkeeper but I have confidence in Claudio also. I think he had a wonderful pre-season and played against Liverpool in the Community Shield and did really well. He’s an experienced keeper so I have all the confidence that he can do a good job. I’m not too scared about that
We always go to win; that’s how we are built to play. It’s our mentality in the team
[Asked if it was Man City’s biggest game of the season so far] Probably, but people will obviously make this bigger than it eventually can be. Obviously, at this moment in the year, it is a big game, but it is not all telling for me
[De Bruyne, however, says it will be too early to predict the outcome of the title race] You can only talk about the importance of the game after the season is over. This game is too early. If it was in April, that would give another incentive to it but even if we win, draw or lose, I would still feel confident because there is still so long. If you lose, you know there is going to be a big gap, but we have to take it as it is, compete, and see what happens. We could take any reaction after the game, like saying our season is over if we lose, but there are so many circumstances that could go on. Maybe they [Liverpool] drop some points and we win lots of games and we end up being on top in March or April, then people will say this game didn’t even matter
2019 11 20 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne, who scored twice in a playmaking masterclass against Cyprus, stressed Belgium worked hard to maintain their perfect qualifying record] It’s always beautiful. Nobody has given it to us. Once you start the qualification, you have to go match by match and we did. It’s very nice to finally get there [with 10 wins]
2019 11 20b Retrieve
[Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne labelled Euro 2020 a fake competition and claimed the draw format is a sign of football becoming more of a business than a sport] It’s a shame. For me, this feels like a fake competition. Football has become more and more [like] a business
2019 11 24 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne sees himself as a leader for Man City after starting fightback against Chelsea] I push myself [to be] the best I can be. If you set goals to be the best, you always push yourself hard. That’s what I did when I was a teenager and that’s what I’m doing now. It’s a little bit more important that the team wins now, but I just work hard. The main thing is that I’m helping the team, I’m helping these guys, leading them, especially the younger guys. I know I can make a difference to them. I just push myself. There’s nobody who puts more pressure on me than myself. It’s not difficult for me to work hard and to push myself to the limit. Sometimes you have good games, some other times you don’t, but even when you play average or bad, you still have to do your job and help the team. I’m a midfielder, so I’m there to help the team the best I can and make the team play good together. That’s my main focus
[City’s win followed on from a 3-1 defeat at Anfield prior to the international break] We work really hard and the main thing, when you lose a game, is to come back with a good reaction. That’s what we have always done over the last four or five years. I think it’s very rare to see us lose two games in a row. We have a lot of quality to make the difference
2019 12 15 Retrieve
[De Bruyne had not scored multiple goals in a Premier League game before his trip to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday] I tried to keep composed and not lean too much backwards. It was just low enough to put it under the bar. The second goal is a little similar, the keeper doesn’t really see the ball and it gives him less reaction time
[The playmaker could have scored a hat trick but was denied by a great save by Arsenal ‘keeper Bernd Leno] It would have been nice but to score two goals and come away with a good win with the struggles we had a little bit is nice. I think every time you lose a game the only reaction you can show is to win the next one. Every time we lose points we come back with a good reaction. We know we have not been at our best this year but we keep on fighting and there’s still a lot of games to play for us
2019 12 16 Retrieve
[De Bruyne thinks City’s form has affected Guardiola’s mood] Sometimes he’s moody, sometimes he’s happy. But obviously he’s going to be a little bit more moody because we are not doing as well as we did the year before. But I think everyone in a job would be the same. For the rest, it’s the same. When it’s not going well, there are going to be more rumours and people are going to talk more about it. It’s all fine, everything is normal
[De Bruyne eager for City to start performing at their best week in, week out once again] It is never easy because obviously the goal was going for the title. We know that the gap is big, but I think you’re a professional playing at this level and you need to perform week in, week out - even if you don’t win it. We need to try to find the rhythm. There are two cup competitions to play in plus the Champions League, so this season I don’t know, like I said, if it was as easy as ‘City are going to win the league’ why would we play it? Everybody works so hard in this business that whoever is on top at the end of the year deserves it, because they were the best
2019 12 17 Retrieve
[Kevin de Bruyne calls for Manchester City not to stand in way of Arteta leaving for Arsenal] He came here three years ago, and had to find his way a little bit, because to transition from player to coach is a little bit different. He is finding his role really, really good right now. I guess one day he will want to be a head coach - I don’t know when but he’s helping the team in the way he thinks he can help, and is doing a good job
He is helping us a lot, but if he gets a good opportunity to be a head coach, and he thinks it’s time for him to take that, I think as a club you need to let somebody go. You want to grow as a head coach, I guess. If he doesn’t, it’s his decision, but why, otherwise, start coaching in that way? It’s difficult for me to explain. Whatever he wants to do, you have to do it - if you want to grow you need to take opportunities when they come
2019 12 21 Retrieve
[When quizzed on his fitness] It was just cramp. It was a hard game, very open. We pushed all the way
[A penalty from Ilkay Gundogan followed before half-time before Gabriel Jesus wrapped up the points in the second half] I think defensively we were good - there was a lot of pressure on the ball - we didn’t let Leicester play at all. Leicester did go ahead but that was the only chance they had
[on playing alongside Mahrez] We have already played lots together and this season we have done well together. One v one Riyad Mahrez is one of the best wingers in the league so I know I can trust him.
2019 12 21b Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne put in a man-of-the-match performance, despite failing to make it on the scoresheet] We have already played a lot of times together, especially this season we have played really well together. Last season was difficult because I spent a lot of time out and couldn’t find my rhythm. But I think the moments we played together we did well, we know how to find each other and I know I can leave him one against one because he is one of the most dangerous wingers in the league - that’s how he scored today
2019 12 23 Retrieve
[De Bruyne believes Man City need to stay true to Guardiola’s principles] We need to go game by game. We dropped some points along the way, but I think the reaction of the team has always been really good, the way we play has always been the same and we have played good football. This is the way to go forward. This is the way we have played four seasons with Pep Guardiola and this is not going to change. We work hard and we dedicate a lot to playing well and if this is the way we play, people will enjoy it. We just try to win game by game and at the end of the season we will see what happens. If we don’t win it we don’t win it, but we work and play hard every day and this is the way to go forward
I think the first thing I do is try to set an example for the rest of my team-mates by working hard, giving a lot of energy and fighting for the team. Afterwards, the talent and the dedication can make the difference. This is the way to go forward. The first thing we need to do is to work as a team and afterwards we have enough quality to make the difference
2019 12 24 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne’s father Herwig say his son love Man City & wants more trophies] He loves it. Everything about it, where he lives, the club, the city - he loves Manchester City. It’s incredible that your son can realise his dream from when he was young and that he can make it, especially in England and in a competition that he loves. Off the pitch, he is always the quiet one in the back of the group, but Kevin on the pitch is at the front of the group and everything is about football. We always knew he would play professionally, but we were never sure he was going so high
For him, it is never good enough. He always wants to do better, he will always want to do more and more until he has at the end of his career
2020 01 08 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne reveals Man City spent 15 minutes working on plan that destroyed Man Utd in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final] We did 15 minutes this morning - that’s about it. [On Monday] we didn’t train that, then [yesterday] morning we did. But it’s not like we never did it before so we did it already sometimes against teams who prefer to play man against man - Cardiff, United and I think Barcelona the way we did it the first year. So we’ve done it a couple of times
[Rashford did at least pull a goal back in the second half to give United some hope] I think we know what their strong points were and then you try to keep the mistakes to a minimum. On the counter, they’re very dangerous. I think they’re more dangerous when they play in that way than when they have the ball. I think that we pressed them really well and we kept the ball good and we created lots of chances in the first half, the second half maybe a few but we did well. It’s not done because obviously I don’t think the rule of away goals is there so obviously they only need to get two so it’s possible. But I prefer to start with a 3-1 advantage than another scoreline obviously.
2020 01 12 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne said after Manchester City’s Carabao Cup destruction of neighbours United] For me, he was one of the best defensive midfielders in the world and now he just comes in as a central defender and does what he does. Props to him, because obviously he is 34 and it’s not easy to play a new position, especially when you’ve never done it in the 14 years before that. He has done brilliantly
2020 01 13 Retrieve
[De Bruyne delights for Aguero, he said Aguero will both be remembered as extraordinary players] I’ve been playing with Sergio for five years, and the record he has got speaks for itself. And the way he acts is really good, you know he’s not like somebody you hear about all the time. He just plays football and for the rest he keeps himself to himself, so that’s nice. People know about Henry. He was also my coach in Belgium so I know him a little bit personally but it’s so difficult to compare but the records for both of them speak for themselves. It’s not always necessary to compare people, just be happy and maybe be grateful that these guys play there. To come and do this on a consistent basis for nine or 10 years is unbelievable
2020 01 29 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne says he can’t comprehend how Manchester City contrived to lose 1-0 to Manchester United on Wednesday night] I can’t really comprehend how we lost this game. For me, United didn’t even have one chance today. In [attack] we were way too wasteful today. I think we have to learn from this but in the end, it’s good that we are going to the final
I think we got sloppy. The goal is […] we didn’t clear the lines very well and out of nothing they just scored. I think you can tell me if United had one more chance in the game; even at the end they didn’t do anything. But yeah, with a one-all score they only need one chance to make a goal but, in the end, we fought when we had to. We need to learn from the mistakes
[Asked if the defeat on the night spoiled the achievement of reaching the final] No, of course not. If you win the final, nobody will talk about this game. It’s not nice and we should have done better, but it’s the way it goes sometimes
2020 02 08 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne ‘comfortable’ at Man City amid Real Madrid & Barcelona transfer talk] I feel comfortable because this is the club I have played for the longest apart from Genk, but that was because I was in the youths, so that was different. But I feel comfortable here because I’m happy here. I play at one of the best teams in the world, one of the best leagues in the world and my family is settled, my kids are happy. So it makes it more comfortable. If one of these things wasn’t in place it would give you stress, but I don’t have that stress at the moment. I feel relaxed and feel I can focus on what I need to do to be ready
With the draw, I don’t think there was a small team we could have had. If you want to win the Champions League you need to beat the best. I think this is what you want to play for. You want to play Champions League, World Cups, Euros, all that stuff. Obviously it’s something I have not won so maybe subconsciously it’s something that we want more. But you want to win everything, League Cup, FA Cup, Champions League, training also - sometimes it’s even worse in training.
No matter who we play, we respect the opponent and that’s the way we have to do it in every game. Even like Port Vale in the FA Cup [third round], we put out a good team to show we want to win. No matter who we play, no matter which competition, we always want to win
2020 02 08b Retrieve
[De Bruyne not convinced by Zidane comparisons] I don’t know about that. It’s nice when people say this kind of [positive] stuff. It means I am doing good - and that’s about it
[The modest midfielder is keen to avoid comparing his game to anyone else] Maybe, yes, I am playing my best football, but it’s so difficult to say. It depends how you look at football. If you look at my football in general, as a complete player, I probably am. But some people like more the purity of football, some people like the statistics. It doesn’t matter. I feel good, I feel I can help my team and that’s about it
[He said of his game and the leadership skills he has shown] I still have a lot of energy and I think it’s important for the way we play. We play pressing and if I give the example the team will follow. That’s the only thing I believe. Now I’m like one of the older players and you have to set the example. The way you play on the pitch shows what the intentions are. Everyone makes mistakes, nobody is perfect, but I always try to do the things I need to do. I know the young guys will follow. I think it’s the right way to show yourself as a professional and help the team, to help push them as winners. If you want to play for a team like City then you want to win. I think it’s something I had always. I think I was even worse when I was younger, always wanted to win, and you think about it more after the game
2020 02 19 Retrieve
[De Bruyne adamant European ban won’t affect Man City after West Ham win] Obviously we were on holiday when the statement happened and we came back and just played football. The situation is what it is. We came back and trained like normal. For us, nothing really changed. We still have a lot to play for with the two cups and Champions League so let’s hope we can find rhythm as quickly as possible and win some titles
It was ok. I think we saw its been three weeks without football and we felt a little bit of rustiness but we played a good game
[On Aymeric Laporte’s return] With the ball he’s very confident and gives us options and he’s been doing this for years. He helped us win a lot of titles and is doing really well. I know when you’re injured so long it takes time, but the way he performed today will give him confidence and give the team confidence
2020 02 20 Retrieve
[Following the comfortable 2-0 victory over the Hammers, the majority of players decided against offering their opinion of UEFA’s decision] We were on holiday when the statement happened. We came back and we played football. The situation is what it is, but we came back, trained like normal and in the end, nothing really changed for us. We just play the games that we have and today we gave a good performance
2020 02 23 Retrieve
[If Man City don’t win the Champions League we’ll be failures like the last five years!] Obviously it’s Madrid. They have won the most Champions Leagues out of everybody. But I think we will go there to try to play our game like we always do and try to play offensive football, try to put them under pressure, try to have a good game and, if we can, win
If we don’t win it [the Champions League] everybody is going to say we are failures like the last five years! It’s something we’ve not won yet. We always want to win everything but sometimes another team is better or performing well - like Liverpool are doing this season. It’s just that way and you just have to admit it. But we will just go there to win that game. You can’t look too much forwards and see what’s going to happen
If you win the games ‘no’ but if you lose points ‘yes’. It’s maybe a rough patch for the moment but I think there have been periods where we scored a lot of penalties. It happens. We want to put them in, but it’s a period where we’re missing a few. It can happen to everybody, so it’s stupid to blame them. Obviously if you miss you feel a little bad
[De Bruyne has taken only one penalty for City back in 2016, which was saved by Everton’s Maarten Stekelenburg, but he would not shirk the opportunity again if he was asked] Yeah, why not? I don’t really care. For me I think it’s important for strikers to have them because it helps their goals tally. It doesn’t affect me that much but if they want me to step up, I will. That’s obviously something for the technical staff to decide
2020 02 29 Retrieve
[De Bruyne: I’m pretty close to challenging for Ballon d’Or] [I’m] probably not too far. But who am I to decide that? I just try to be the best I can be. I’ve been playing well over the last few years and even last season, I had a lot of injuries but the times that I was on the pitch, I was doing OK. Even in Germany, I had good years and I felt happy, but who decides [the best footballers], I don’t know, but I think I’m pretty close.
It helps [being nominated for the Ballon d’Or], but first and foremost is team performance. I know if the team performs well and I perform with them, I will get the accolades. Over the last few years, I’ve been in contention for the top 30 in the world and it feels good because you work very hard in your profession and to be acknowledged as being really good at what you do is always nice to hear.
It gives me the motivation to stay there and be on top for as long as I can because [playing] football is for a short period of time and I just want to be the best version of what I can be. What that is, I don’t know, but every year is different and this year went really well for me.
I think I’m more of a complete footballer than I was a few years ago. I’ve had some good years in my career but I think either side of the ball, mentally, leading a team, I’m better now than I was two or three years ago. I think I’m doing really well and I feel comfortable and happy with the way I’m performing
2020 02 29b Retrieve
[De Bruyne admits Man City’s standards have slipped in 2019-20] We’re performing well but we’ve lost too many points. It feels a bit like the first season with Pep where we were playing good football but we were making too many errors. There are games where you think you are fully in control and then the last five or 10 minutes, we basically gave it away and in this period where Liverpool are not dropping any points, every point you drop is too much. Even if we did better, I think the way Liverpool are performing this year and winning basically everything, they deserve to win and be champions again.
I don’t think there is a level of frustration with Liverpool because you just have to applaud what they are doing. It’s also the same as what we had for the last two years - if you have that many points and win that many games, there’s not a lot the opposition can do and I know they’re just going to control what they do themselves.
The only frustration we’ve had is making too many mistakes and it’s nothing to do with them [Liverpool], it’s more that we know if we didn’t make these mistakes, [the league] would be closer. We also accept it because you know how hard you have to work to be that good and there’s a lot of respect from both sides to each other. If they win it this way, that’s how it has to be.
I always want to win everything. We know the league is gone but I would say win all the rest. I know that’s a hard job, but that’s what we want to do and that’s what the goals are. At the beginning of the season, we don’t say ‘we want to win the league and all the rest, we’ll see’, we want to win all four. We’ve still got the chance to do three so if that will be the case, then that will be pretty amazing
This club takes every competition seriously. It doesn’t matter what competition we play, we play to win it and we’ve shown that whoever you’re playing in this competition, new players and maybe players who play a little less, are there to win the game. The guys have stepped up and done the job brilliantly. Props to having a really good team of 25 players.
It is the first trophy you can win and it is a trophy. I know people say it’s the smallest competition but at least if you don’t win anything else, you’ve won something. There are a lot of players who play a lot of games in their career and haven’t won one competition, even the Carabao Cup.
You have to respect every competition because we play in big games and sometimes against teams from the lower leagues but even then, we show the dedication to do what we need to do as professionals and show that we’ll do everything to win this cup
2020 03 01 Retrieve
[Man City headed to Santiago Bernabeu with the prospect of playing three matches in three competitions in the space of seven days] I know that’s a hard job, but that’s what we want to do and that’s what the goals are. At the beginning of the season, we don’t say ‘we want to win the league and all the rest, we’ll see’, we want to win all four. We’ve still got the chance to do three so if that will be the case, then that will be pretty amazing
2019 04 20 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne writes about his relationship with Manchester City team-mate Raheem Sterling] Truthfully, I don’t have many close friends - inside or outside of football. It takes me a really long time to open up to people. But over time, I got closer to Raheem, because our sons were born around the same time, so they would always play together. I really got to know Raheem, and I recognized what a smart and genuine person he is. He couldn’t be more different from what the tabloids were saying. This is the real truth: Raheem is one of the nicest, most humble guys I’ve met in football
2020 04 02 Retrieve
[De Bruyne recommends voiding Premier League season amid injury fears following coronavirus disruption] I have no idea when we will be playing again. We haven’t played for six weeks. Normally you’d need a preparation of three to four weeks. If we restart immediately then everybody will be injured after a few games. I know that there’s lots of money involved. But I think that waiting so long to make a decision can cause issues next season. There won’t be a long summer break and you can just postpone everything. I would feel sad if the season is stopped after such a good year, but if it avoids issues for next season, it must be done
[De Bruyne has also said he will extend his career by an extra two years before hanging up his boots] I told my wife I’m going to play a little longer. After this lockdown, I cannot stay at home. I told her I’m going to take two years more. It’s time to play football again. I miss it and it’s difficult. But we are not important, football is not important. People love football, but you need to stay safe
2020 04 02b Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne has described Jadon Sancho’s rise as ‘crazy’] [Sancho] is crazy. It’s weird, I trained a few times with him and he was gone - unbelievable. Sometimes it goes like this but it is good for him. Now if you want him you have to pay … I don’t want to know!
2020 04 06 Retrieve
[The evolution of De Bruyne: An inspirational leader and Ballon d’Or contender] The main thing is that I’m helping the team, I’m helping these guys, leading them, especially the younger guys. I know I can make a difference to them. I just push myself. There’s nobody who puts more pressure on me than myself. It’s not difficult for me to work hard and to push myself to the limit. Sometimes you have good games, some other times you don’t, but even when you play average or bad, you still have to do your job and help the team. I’m a midfielder, so I’m there to help the team the best I can and make the team play good together. That’s my main focus
[When asked if he was close to winning the award] Probably not too far. But who am I to decide that? I just try to be the best I can be. I’ve been playing well over the last few years and even last season, I had a lot of injuries but the times that I was on the pitch, I was doing okay. Even in Germany, I had good years and I felt happy, but who decides that [the best footballers]? I don’t know, but I think I’m pretty close
I told my wife I’m going to play a little longer. After this lockdown. I cannot stay at home, I told her I’m going to take two years more
2020 04 08 Retrieve
[Coronavirus: How Man City players are staying fit for life after lockdown] I have no idea when we will be playing again. But if you haven’t played for six weeks, normally you’d need three to four weeks to prepare again. If we restart immediately everyone will be injured after a few games
2020 04 18 Retrieve
[De Bruyne reveals he may have suffered from coronavirus] At the beginning of the lockdown my family was sick for eight or nine days. It started with my little boy, then my older boy and then my wife, but I don’t know if we had [coronavirus] or not. Luckily we are out of it and the last two or three weeks has been really good and we are finding a routine and everything so we are fine
Well, the first two weeks was a little bit weird because I don’t know what’s going on. Then I managed to get a treadmill. I was swimming a little bit because I’m lucky to have a pool downstairs. I was doing a couple of lengths but now mostly I’m doing a run and I would say every other day I would choose between swimming and doing some exercise, so I’m keeping fairly good for what we can on our own, I guess
[He also revealed Man City were doing their bit to help guide the players in their fitness regimes] They send us like a fairly big programme. I think at the beginning of lockdown some of the gym physios went to the club and made videos of what we can do, different types of exercises. But there’s a few things that I like to do, obviously it’s more the running and the swimming exercise. I do a little bit in-between but I’m not one for sitting like an hour or two hours in a gym. I get bored of doing stuff on my own anyway so I prefer to do running, where I keep busy for myself and listen to some podcasts and all that stuff
2020 04 24 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne names Liverpool forward as his player of the season] I would say Mane. I think he has been the total package this year for Liverpool. He has been important, so if I had to choose somebody, I would choose Mane
2020 04 28 Retrieve
[Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne is keen to overhaul Thierry Henry’s Premier League assists record if the season resumes] To be honest, I feel Like I’m on 17 - I know they took one away from me at Arsenal. I don’t know why they did it, I still don’t understand it. I always joked with Henry in the national team, even at Vincent Kompany’s testimonial this year. I saw him and said ‘I’m coming for you this year’. To have 16 assists is really nice and speaks really well for a creative player. But if it doesn’t happen we still go on. When you get something [a record] it fills you with pride because I had it in Germany and it’s nice to see you broke some records
I don’t think a lot of people [at City] feel under-appreciated, to be honest. There’s been chances, obviously, when some of us could have won the award but you don’t know what the voters are thinking about football. Two years ago I could have won it but I understand why Mo Salah won it also. Maybe this year is a chance for me to win, I don’t know. I think I’ve got a nice chance but there are some other players who have had great seasons. I’m not really occupied about why or why not. Everyone has a different view. That’s the nice thing about football, nobody thinks the same way and there are different playing styles and views
2020 05 02 Retrieve
[Man City star De Bruyne believes financial concerns will force Premier League to finish season] My feeling is that we may be able to train again within two weeks. The government wants to restart football as soon as possible to give people something. Everything will be finished without fans I think. That is not really interesting for anyone, but this season will be finished. The financial aspect is far too important in the Premier League. If the season is not finished, it will cause serious problems
You are in a rhythm and you have to stop suddenly. When the league resumes, I don’t really see this as an extension of the season. This feels more like the start of a new season. I have never stood still for so long in my career, but I’m not going to make a problem of it. Greater powers are at work. Whatever is said and decided, I agree
2020 05 02b Retrieve
[De Bruyne waiting on Champions League ban before deciding Man City future] I’m just waiting. The club has told us that they are going to appeal and that they are almost 100 per cent sure they are in the right. That’s why I’m waiting to see what will happen. I trust my team. Once the statement is made, I will review everything. Two years [without European football] would be a long time. If it is one year I might see
I think Pep said he will see out the last year [of his contract] anyway no matter what. Then his contract ends. But I’m not going to let my decision depend on what Pep is doing. Of course I have already worked with other coaches and when Pep leaves, I have to continue working with someone else. But I haven’t really paid much attention to that for the time being. There are more important things at the moment
In recent years, and before then too, there have been many teams who have enquired and may have asked about me. But to be honest, I’m very happy with City. I play for one of the best teams in the world, I play in England - in my view the best competition - and I like that. It remains a challenge to be the best and I need that too. Whatever comes, comes. But it’s not that I’ve tried to leave City in these past five years. I have also remained calm over previous transfers. I have never had any problems and have always waited for my moment. With respect, because I think you get most of it back. Even outside of football.
2020 05 07b Retrieve
[De Bruyne opens up on losing his cool with David Silva in the ‘let me talk!’ incident] You see I’m an angry man on the pitch. I think there was something with the referee where I got a yellow card and I wanted to ask him, ‘why the hell did you give me a yellow card?’. I can fight, like, for a minute. After a minute I’m fine but at that time […] When I’m playing, inside of me, it’s like two different Kevins. On the pitch, sometimes I’m a little b*stard!
2020 05 07 Retrieve
[De Bruyne says it is difficult to adapt to Manchester City boss Guardiola’s tactics] Well, I find it quite easy. I don’t know, I can understand sometimes he explains so much to some people when we have a meeting. In football, you have tactics, but it’s not like the NFL. I think there’s players when they come in and they have a few meetings and he explains so much in the beginning. Like football, you don’t think so much; you just do it. You know a few things that you need to do but then in the beginning, people are just wondering, ‘Oh, my head is blown off’.
I think first of all is tactical. I think player relations, sometimes it’s difficult because you have 25 players, and to have a personal relationship with everybody is difficult. On one hand, I think also because you’re the boss there’s always going to be a certain distance. Maybe in 10-15 years when I’m done, you’re gonna have a different relationship. But for us, it’s impossible to have like a real close relationship with a coach because otherwise you’re going to ask 24 other people who are saying, ‘Oh yeah, you only play because, because of the coach,’ and all that stuff, so that that’s not possible
2020 05 27 Retrieve
[De Bruyne ready to commit long-term future to Manchester City] I’m just waiting. The club has told us that they are going to appeal and that they are almost 100 per cent sure they are in the right. That’s why I’m waiting to see what will happen. I trust my team. Once the statement is made, I will review everything. Two years [without European football] would be a long time. If it is one year I might see
2020 06 10 Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne suggested he might be happy to stay at City in the event of a reduction to a one-year ban, although a two-year Champions League absence would force him to consider his options.] I’m just waiting. The club told us they are going to appeal, and they are almost 100 per cent sure they are right. That’s why I’m waiting to see what will happen. I trust my team. Once the decision is made, I will review everything. Two years would be long, but in the case of one year I might see
2020 06 27 Retrieve
[Liverpool were better but Man City can still have an unbelievable season] We knew it was impossible [to catch them after lockdown]. You are always disappointed when you don’t win, but I think we are honest enough to say Liverpool were better this year. I think we worked really hard, we played really well but we weren’t good enough and that’s no problem for us to admit. If everything goes to plan for us then I think we still have 13 or 14 games, so we still have a lot to play for and a lot of objectives
[The 28-year-old is in the running for the Player of the Year awards] Two years ago I was second and we won the title 20 points ahead, so I don’t know how people decide. I think I have a chance. It is not me who decides and I think I can make my own analysis of how this season has gone. Whatever you get in the end is nice, but we will see
2020 06 27b Retrieve
[Kevin De Bruyne says Manchester City can still have unbelievable season] I think in comparison with a lot of other teams we are doing all right. We are still second, so that means after Liverpool we are the second best team, and I think we have still got big chances in the FA Cup and Champions League. Imagine if we come out after winning these cups, it will be an unbelievable season. We have got a lot to play for and look forward to it. There is no time for us to get down
You are always disappointed when you don’t win, but I think we are honest enough to say Liverpool were better this year. I think we worked really hard, we played really well, but we weren’t good enough and that’s no problem for us to admit. If everything goes to plan for us then I think we still have 13 or 14 games (left), so we still have a lot to play for and a lot of objectives.
[He has also added 11 goals this season and is among the leading contenders for player of the year prizes] I think I have a chance but it is not me who decides and I think I can make my own analysis of how this season has gone. Whatever you get in the end is nice, but we will see
2020 06 28 Retrieve
[De Bruyne has become the designated penalty taker after City experienced a string of spot-kick woes this season] We had a few problems this year and I think the gaffer asked me to step up against Madrid. I’ve scored a couple now. If I’m the taker now I will try. Obviously there will be a day I miss, you have to take your responsibility, it if it’s in it’s good