Does Kevin de Bruyne receive the credit he merits for Manchester City’s incredible goal against Real Madrid in the Champions League first leg?
Last week, Vinicius Jr. gave Real the advantage at the Bernabeu, but De Bruyne’s 25-yard goal tied the game going into Wednesday’s second leg at Etihad Stadium.
Since moving to City from Wolfsburg in 2015, the Belgian midfielder has regularly been among the best in Europe.
The 31-year-old has played in 237 Premier League games for City, scoring 64 goals and providing 101 assists. Over the course of that period, only Thomas Muller and Lionel Messi contributed more assists throughout the top five leagues in Europe.
“City are not a legacy club, despite how dominant they are in the Premier League and how much Pep Guardiola draws attention to City.” A City player finds it more difficult to win over football journalists. The intellect and playing style are frequently linked to Guardiola.
A club record 11 of De Bruyne’s 14 goals in the Champions League for City have come in playoff games.
City needed De Bruyne to step up in the second half since he was very neutral in the first, according to French journalist Julien Laurens. He unexpectedly appeared just when his team may have advanced to another championship game.
“Real Madrid was set up to limit De Bruyne’s ability to significantly affect the game. He continues to play, though, since he knows something will eventually happen to him. To remain in your game till that point requires a very great mental fortitude, and I believe his celebration demonstrated this. He raced to the City supporters’ area, where he visibly burst. The top players act in this way.
Erling Haaland, a teammate of De Bruyne’s from City, was recently voted the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) footballer of the year. De Bruyne has twice been named Premier League player of the season and placed third in the 2022 Ballon d’Or.
“He is regarded well in Spain, but not as favorably as Real Madrid and Barcelona need to regard him. That’s in part because there haven’t been many players like De Bruyne in recent years, and in part because his manager at City is a work of art. City is now playing the finest football we’ve ever seen, but it’s not because of one player who excels in several areas of the field.Each of them has a sphere of influence, and Kevin de Bruyne hasn’t been permitted to leave it. He excels in that area of impact, but not in an astonishing fashion that would warrant awarding him the Ballon d’Or.