13 fun facts about Kevin De Bruyne

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Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City
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Everything you need to know about the Belgian superstar!

Kevin De Bruyne was born in Ghent, Belgium on June 28, 1991. He grew up in Ghent and began playing football at a young age. He started his youth career at KVV Drongen and later moved to Gent. He then moved to Genk in 2005, where he spent six years developing as a player before moving on to the senior team.

De Bruyne made his professional debut for Genk in 2008 and played for Chelsea, Werder Bremen, and Wolfsburg before joining Manchester City in 2015.

De Bruyne is known for his technical ability, vision, and creativity. He has excellent passing accuracy and is a skilled dribbler, able to create chances for his teammates and score goals himself.

The Manchester City star has won numerous individual awards throughout his career, including the PFA Players' Player of the Year and Premier League Playmaker of the Season. He has also helped his teams win multiple league titles and domestic cups.

But what are the 13 things you absolutely need to know about the midfielder?

  1. Was eligible to play for Burundi

    De Bruyne was eligible to represent both Belgium and the Burundi national team. His mother Anna was born in the African nation before moving to Europe. He ultimately made his international debut for Belgium in 2010 in an international friendly against Finland.

  2. ‘Keep it simple’

    The Belgian's autobiography, named 'Keep it simple' was published by Borgerhoff & Lamberigts in October 2014. He himself had co-written the book.

  3. A punishment turned boon!

    A punishment turned boon!

    De Bruyne is widely regarded as a highly-skilled two-footed player. He can use both his left and right foot effectively and has been known to take shots, make passes, and cross the ball with either foot, making him more unpredictable and difficult to defend against.

    But it would not have been possible had his parents not forced him to use his weaker foot while playing in the backyard of their house. It so happened that De Bruyne used to practice and kick the ball so hard with his right foot that he regularly damaged his parents' plant pots, forcing the couple to make a rule for him that he could only use his weaker foot to take shots.

  4. A successful businessman

    In 2014, De Bruyne started his own clothing line called 'KDB' in partnership with the clothing label Cult Eleven. A portion of the profits from the line is donated to the Special Olympics - an organisation he has spent a lot of time working with throughout his career.

  5. Olympic Ambassador!

    De Bruyne was named the official ambassador of the 2014 Special Olympics.

  6. Fluent in multiple languages

    De Bruyne is fluent in several languages. He is a native Dutch speaker and also speaks English, French, and German fluently. Additionally, he has some proficiency in Spanish, which he has been working to improve. Being multilingual can be a valuable skill for professional footballers, as it allows them to communicate more effectively with teammates, coaches, and fans from different countries and cultures. It also demonstrates a broader appreciation for the world and the diversity of people within it.

  7. Idolised a Liverpool legend

    Idolised a Liverpool legend

    During an interview with BT Sport, the Manchester City star had revealed that he idolised former Liverpool star Michael Owen while growing up.

  8. ‘Ginger Pele’
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    ‘Ginger Pele’

    "Ginger Pele" is a nickname given to De Bruyne by some fans and media outlets. The nickname refers to his red hair and skill as a footballer. "Ginger" refers to his hair color, and "Pele" refers to the Brazilian football legend, widely considered one of the greatest footballers ever.

    The nickname is a tribute to De Bruyne's ability to control games, make incisive passes, and score goals, much like Pele did during his playing career. De Bruyne has acknowledged the nickname in interviews and has expressed his appreciation for the comparison to Pele. However, he is humble about his own abilities and the comparisons made to other football legends.

  9. Breakthrough season
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    Breakthrough season

    The 2014/15 campaign proved to be the breakthrough season for the Belgian as he scored 16 goals and provided 28 assists in all competitions for Wolfsburg. He guided his club to the DFB Pokal title, helped his club finish second in Bundesliga, and reached the quarterfinal of the Europa League. He was named Bundesliga Player of the Season, was the highest assist provider in the league, and was named in the Europa League Squad of the Season.

  10. Man City’s club record signing

    His impressive performance for Wolfsburg prompted Manchester City to break the bank in 2015 and sign him from the German club for a then-club-record transfer fee of €75m. The record broke in the 2021/22 season when they signed Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for €117m.

  11. Belgian Sportsman of the Year
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    Belgian Sportsman of the Year

    De Bruyne won the Belgian Sportsman of the Year award in 2015. The award is given out annually to the best Belgian athlete in any sport, and it recognizes their achievements and contributions to the sporting world.

  12. Twice won Premier League POTY

    De Bruyne has won the Premier League Player of the Year award twice in his career so far, 2019-2020 and 2021/22 seasons. This award is given to the player who is judged to have performed the best in the Premier League over the course of the season. In the 2019-2020 season, De Bruyne played a key role in helping Manchester City finish as runners-up in the Premier League, winning the League Cup and reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League. During the 2021/22 season, the Belgian helped his side win the Premier League title.

    Only three players other than De Bruyne have won the award twice, Cristiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry and Nemanja Vidic.

  13. A charitable man

    De Bruyne has been involved in several charitable initiatives throughout his career. In 2020, De Bruyne launched the "Kevin De Bruyne Foundation" to support and empower disadvantaged children and young people in Belgium and worldwide. The foundation focuses on education, health, and personal development and works with various organizations to support children and young people in need.

    De Bruyne has also been involved in other charitable initiatives, including the "Common Goal" campaign, which encourages professional footballers to donate 1% of their wages to support various global social causes. In addition, he has donated money to support cancer research and has been involved in charity matches to raise money for various causes.