He is considered as the most “completed” footballer in modern-day football. He is versatile and highly talented. He can score goals and make others score goals. Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium and Manchester City have the qualities to be regarded as the best footballer in the world at present. For the last 10 years, the focus has always been either on Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi – their level of talent has been such that no other could challenge their might. Players came and went, but their supremacy remained for a decade.
But with time, things change – the era of CR7 and Messi would also come to an end someday and their places would be taken by new the blokes in town. Still today, the aura of CR7 and Messi exist, but that should not keep the focus away from those who are performing really well.
Someone like Kevin De Bryne has been outstanding for the last couple of years and we all know very well how he fared in the World Cup – knocking out a very good Brazil unit is not so easy, but De Bruyne on that night at Kazan stunned the Selecao.
In the season 2019-20 De Bruyne has been extremely satisfactory.
He is a genuine team-man and is ready to play for the team rather than himself. is happy to do whatever job Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola asks him.
A few weeks back, after helping Manchester City to qualify in the semifinals of FA Cup, he said the City’s official website, “I just do my job for the team. (The role) doesn’t really matter. In my career, I’ve played lots of positions.
“The coach asked me to do something different. We can also play with five at the back”.
“We have enough good players upfront to make the difference. It’s my job to help the team and get them in good positions.”
Under Pep Guardiola, he plays mainly as a central or an attacking midfielder but can also operate in several other positions, and has been used as a winger or second striker; he has even been deployed in a deeper creative midfield position or even in a box-to-box role on occasion.
He is often described by pundits as one of the best and most complete modern-day advanced playmakers, due to his technique, skill, athleticism, work-rate off the ball, vision, crossing accuracy, wide range of passing, and powerful long-range shooting ability with either foot
Although he is not blessed with significant physical strength, pace, or ability in the air, he is a quick and elegant player on the ball, with good dribbling skills, while his positional sense, tactical intelligence, movement, direct style of play, and ability to run at defences when in possession also enable him to take advantage of spaces in the opposition’s defence, and subsequently create chances and goalscoring opportunities for himself or his teammates, making him a dangerous offensive threat on counter-attacks.
In addition to his creative abilities, he is also capable of scoring goals by making late runs off the ball from behind into the penalty area and is an accurate set-piece taker.
Since the return of the Premier League after the break of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Belgian international has been the best performer for City.
Overall, in 32 appearances City in 2019-20, he has scored 11 times, assisted 19, which is 0.39 goals and 0.67 assists per game and 1.06 in combined. He has completed 1532 passes from 2032 attempted with 75% completion rate and passed traveled 31512 yards with a progressive distance of 9656 yards. Percentage of passes completed in 5 yards, in between 5-25 yards and more than 25 yards are 29.5%, 82.9% and 64.8%.
The above numbers are an indication of his effectiveness for City on the pitch, but the versatility and creativity along with style can’t be judged by numbers – they have been a treat for the eyes for the football fans.
De Bruyne is still evolving and the best is yet to come.
The Belgian coach Roberto Martinez said, “Obviously I watch all of Kevin’s games. The other day I was watching the Man City game against Liverpool and for me, it was very clear”.
“Liverpool have been the best team this season and the worthy winners and champions, and then you could say easily Kevin has been the best player in the league”.
“The way he affects the game, the way he can become that player who executes the pass that no other can do”.
“A player that can play in different positions, that he can adjust to different needs, and for me, it was very, very clear in that game that we saw the worthy champions, and on the other side we saw the best individual player in the league”.
To reach the level of CR7 and Messi, he needs to win at the big stage – The Champions League and he has such qualities.
The kind of form De Bruyne is in; in this season’s Champions League one can even see him as the champion of Europe and the world.