FIFA World Cup 2018: Kevin De Bruyne looks to shine for Belgium
Kevin De Bruyne, who guided Manchester City to the Premier League title this season, will be a major asset for Belgium at the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.Updated: Jun 02, 2018 18:55 IST
Country - Belgium
Position - Attacking midfielder
World Cup Matches – 4
World Cup goals - 1
When Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho jettisoned Kevin de Bruyne to German Bundesliga side Werder Bremen on loan in the second half of 2012-13 season and then subsequently sold him to VFL Wolfsburg, no one could have envisaged De Bruyne to be the fulcrum around which the fortunes of Belgium will revolve. Especially when the team has players like Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Dries Mertens. (FIFA World Cup 2018 Schedule)
Life has come full circle for the Manchester City player who is now most certainly the best midfielder in the Premier League. Belgium tend to play a 4-3-3 formation, which is the same as his club Manchester City and the familiarity of the position, the role and the responsibilities that go with it will be a big positive for not only the player but also the team.
Belgium national team has an abundance of star players in every position - be it is defence, midfield or attack. The players too have been playing with each other for a long time so there is chemistry between them. That is where the role of De Bruyne is accentuated; he can play the pass to the forwards without thinking twice about it. Similarly, other players know what positions he will take when the team is in possession of the ball. Whether it is a long or a short pass, De Bruyne can execute it with precision. The 26-year-old is deadly with free-kicks and helps out defensively too; all in all he is a complete midfielder who can take his team all the way.
The last time De Bruyne played in the World Cup, he was young and inexperienced, along with many of his national colleagues. This time, however, the team and especially De Bruyne are heading to Russia at the peak of their powers and it will take a mighty fine effort for anyone to stop them. The World Cup also offers the midfielder a chance to prove himself at the international level where they may still be a few doubters. Last edition of the World Cup and the Euros two years ago might not have shown the watching public what exactly he is capable of.
There are many world class players in Belgium team who are capable of magic, but the role of Kevin De Bruyne and what he does is perhaps the most important. Should he get injured, or not be on his game will create a mammoth hole in Red Devils’ squad, a hole too big to fill may be.
First Published: Jun 02, 2018 18:50 IST