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HomeLatest GistKevin De Bruyne: the candidly expressive star who breathes life into Belgium.

Kevin De Bruyne: the candidly expressive star who breathes life into Belgium.

Frédéric Waseige found himself growing increasingly despondent. Standing on the sideline of the Cristal Arena in pouring rain, he awaited the signal from the TV studio to begin his post-match interview with an 18-year-old Kevin De Bruyne, without an umbrella to shield them from the elements. De Bruyne, newly established as a regular for Racing Genk, had been the standout player of the game. Despite the constant delays, he remained unperturbed, repeatedly reassuring Waseige with a casual “Te tracasse pas” (“no worries”). Waseige, apologizing profusely for the inconvenience, feared the young player might disappear at any moment. Yet De Bruyne’s calm demeanor persisted. Reflecting on the experience, Waseige remarked, “But that’s Kevin for you. Should the same thing happen again today, he’d behave exactly the same way. Te tracasse pas! He never changed. What you see is what you get, and what you get is something unique: a great player who is also a down-to-earth person.”

Some might question the term “down-to-earth” when describing De Bruyne, whose view of a football pitch resembles a 3D canvas he shapes to fit his imaginative vision. Coaches from his early days at Gent marveled at his exceptional peripheral vision and rapid decision-making. This ability persists whether he plays for Manchester City or Belgium. His partnership with Jérémy Doku, particularly in the national team, showcases his knack for finding opportunities that others overlook—always in a manner he considers “normal.”

This sense of “normalcy” comes at a price. De Bruyne, entering Euro 2024 with Belgium, has no inclination to conceal his thoughts or emotions. While not prone to sudden mood swings or outbursts, he freely expresses what he feels and thinks. Confident in his abilities yet devoid of arrogance, he sees no reason to use his exceptional talent to diminish or deceive others. He remains unfiltered, refreshingly so.

During the 2022 World Cup, while teammates celebrated Michi Batshuayi’s winning goal against Canada, De Bruyne immediately approached Roberto Martínez to critique Belgium’s tactics, ignoring attempts by Toby Alderweireld to intervene. His actions were genuine and unscripted, reflecting his natural approach to the game.

However, De Bruyne’s demeanor was notably different during the 2022 World Cup, where he appeared discontented despite outward appearances. His dissatisfaction, palpable to viewers at home, contributed to Belgium’s uneven performance. His absence due to a hamstring injury during the 2023-24 season was a setback for most players but proved a chance for De Bruyne to refresh himself. Now back in form, he exudes his characteristic fitness and determination.

In summary, Kevin De Bruyne remains true to himself—unpretentious, exceptionally talented, and unafraid to express his thoughts openly. His impact on Belgium’s fortunes is undeniable, making him not just their conductor on the field, but the standard by which their success is measured.



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