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'I prefer to assist than score' - NXGN star Johannesson out to emulate his idol De Bruyne

17:00 GMT+4 24/03/2022
Isak Bergmann Johannesson FC Copenhagen 2021-22
The 19-year-old is already a full Iceland international and starring for FC Copenhagen having been scouted by a host of top European clubs

FC Copenhagen wonderkid Isak Bergmann Johannesson has spoken of his admiration for Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne, despite growing up as a Manchester United fan.

Johannesson, who has been included on the NXGN 2022 list of the best teenage footballers in the world, spent the early years of his life in England, and was a regular visitor to Old Trafford.

But the 19-year-old has picked out De Bruyne as the player he idolises, citing his own love of assisting goals as being similar to that of the Belgian playmaker's.

What's been said?

Speaking exclusively to GOAL about his own abilities, Johannesson said: "I can play in many positions. I think I read the game well and I know what to do on the pitch.

"I can run a lot and I have good awareness and technique on the pitch. I can score and assist. I prefer to assist than to score, and I love to help my team-mates.

"My favourite player is Kevin De Bruyne. I love how decisive he is, but he does it while running a lot and helping the team."

Who is Johannesson?

Johannesson burst onto the scene while playing for Swedish side IFK Norrkoping and was regularly scouted by elite clubs from around Europe.

He eventually left to join Copenhagen in the summer of 2021, with the Danish outfit paying €4.5 million (£3.7m/$5m) to sign him. He has gone on to contribute six combined goals and assists in his first season at the Parken Stadium.

Already a full Iceland international, Johannesson was born, however, in England while his father, Joey Gudjonsson, was playing in the Premier League.

"We lived in Worsley in Manchester. Ryan Giggs lived just up the road," Johannesson recalled. "I saw that Manchester United team in 2007-09 with [Wayne] Rooney, [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Carlos] Tevez.

"It was nice to be there when that was happening, and I remember very much watching my dad at Burnley in the Premier League. I was young, but I remember travelling to Old Trafford and Anfield to watch him play.

"While watching him play at Burnley, Huddersfield and Leicester, I was at Manchester City and Bolton training.

"That started my journey to want to become a professional footballer. Even though he supported Liverpool, I supported Manchester United, my favourite team."

What next for Johannesson?

While interest in Johannesson from around the continent is unlikely to have gone away just because he has moved clubs, the midfielder is keen to focus on the present at both club and international level.

"I am very happy that I took this step," he said of his move to Copenhagen. "I bought my first apartment and I either cycle or get an electric scooter to training.

"My family supports me, with my dad coaching me in the national team (Gudjonsson is Iceland's assistant manager).

"They don't put pressure on me, I put it on myself because I want to be a top player and strive for that goal every day."

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