Kevin De Bruyne talks about his talented sons, his future in Devils and at City and he warns fans: “I accept the whistles, but not certain gestures”

Kevin De Bruyne talks about his talented sons, his future in Devils and at City and he warns fans: “I accept the whistles, but not certain gestures”
Kevin De Bruyne talks about his talented sons, his future in Devils and at City and he warns fans: “I accept the whistles, but not certain gestures”

Three days after alienating the fans, Kevin De Bruyne (33 years old since Friday) explained himself at length during a 30-minute “old-fashioned” interview in the castle next to the Devils’ hotel in Ludwigsburg.I accepted the whistles. But I saw gestures from supporters that were intolerable. If I make such a gesture to you in the street, you won’t accept it either.”

Like every other year with the exception of 2022 with the Winter World Cup in Qatar, De Bruyne celebrated his birthday during a big tournament with the Devils. “With a little piece of pie. And for the rest, I played a little golf and did some exercises in the gym. No, I didn’t watch the match against Ukraine again. I never watch matches that I played myself.”

“I would do the same thing again, but they will support us on Monday”

KDB returned in detail to the sad scene at the end of the match against Ukraine. “Actually, I didn’t hear the whistles during the end of the match, like when I was giving the corners in stoppage time. I was still in my game. That’s when Jan (Vertonghen) walked towards the fans and saw some things, I intervened. If I had to do it again, I would make the same decision. I made a decision (Editor’s note: no longer greeting the supporters) which seemed acceptable to me for the whole group. The other players supported me almost unanimously and the coach too. People may not agree with me, you can’t please everyone. I understand people’s disappointment that we didn’t win the match. I accept criticism: we weren’t good enough. But there are limits that must not be crossed. And I know that the gestures did not come from all our supporters, but still from a large part. No, I don’t have the impression that there will be consequences against France. I believe that both the team and the supporters will do everything to ensure that we win this match. I’m not too worried. However, I can’t guarantee them that we will win. But I can guarantee them that I will give it my all.”

“We have the qualities to hurt France”

Another image that went viral after the match against Ukraine: Kevin who – in the circle with the other players and the staff – shouts out loud: “We can beat them, f—!” On balance, KDB maintains that the Devils have a chance. “We mustn’t talk nonsense: France are favourites. But we have the qualities to hurt them. We have to survive the difficult moments and enjoy our good moments. If we didn’t believe in it, we could have already packed our bags. The difference with the previous matches is that there will be less pressure on our shoulders.”

“If we win, Tedesco is the best in the world”

If Belgium are swept aside, Domenico Tedesco can expect to be singled out for criticism. Does De Bruyne feel he made the right choices at this Euro?In any case, our style of play is often positive. If we get eliminated, there will inevitably be criticism. But if we win against France, Domenico Tedesco will be the best coach in the world. There are always situations where you can say that the coach made the wrong choice. I also experienced that with Pep (Guardiola)with Mourinho, with Hecking (in Wolfsburg) and sheep (Bream). Sometimes you also have to accept that opponents have a good plan to counter us, which prevents us from getting into the game. What if I don’t want to give Tedesco a tactical helping hand? No, thanks! (laughs) I have enough on my plate already. Sometimes he asks for my opinion, like Pep, but I don’t talk to the tactics coach from morning to night. Maybe he talks more with Romelu.”

“I foresaw the problems in Qatar”

Both journalists and players have the feeling that De Bruyne is more cheerful than in Qatar. “I am someone who is very demanding of myself and of my team. I was already like that at Genk when I was 17. I am also like that in daily life. At home, I do not tolerate any mistake. Otherwise I’m frustrated. I’m often frustrated during a match, but it’s due to my competitive mentality. Of course the tournament wouldn’t be successful if we were eliminated. by accepting an elimination In 2018, our players played in bigger clubs and the team was therefore stronger. In 2022, we still had the talent to achieve something beautiful, but we failed. to change things because I had foreseen the problems. Now we have a team with potential but which is younger. Maybe in two or four years we will be as strong as in 2018.”

“My future as Devil? Not thought about yet…”

After Belgium – Ukraine, there were fears that the incident with the fans could push De Bruyne into premature retirement from the national team. “I haven’t made a decision about it yet. I don’t think the fans were targeting me personally. It’s possible that I’ll still be here in 2026, it’s possible that I won’t be here anymore. Right now I feel good. As long as that’s the case, I’ll probably be available. But I don’t know how I’ll feel next year. The English Pro League has calculated that we’ll have a season with 85 games, with the new Champions League and the Club World Cup. I won’t play every game, but still. You have to be ready physically but also mentally. The best thing is having seven to ten days off during the international break. So I haven’t thought about what I’m going to do yet.”

“I haven’t spoken with anyone in Saudi Arabia”

De Bruyne talks about Manchester City as if he is out of the question, even though he only has one year left on his contract. “I know that my interview with Aster (Nzeyimana, de VTM) at the start of the rally caused a lot of ink to flow. (De Bruyne had indicated that he is open to a departure to Saudi Arabia). I read a lot of things afterwards, but I haven’t spoken to anyone at the moment. And it’s true that City don’t keep older players when they get a good offer. Riyad Mahrez got an incredible offer and he left. I haven’t got an offer yet. I suppose that in the coming months, I’ll sit down with City to talk about the future. I understand that City want to wait, given the injury I had. The summer will be very quiet. I’ll go on holiday and then I’ll start again with City. If I’m tempted by an exotic adventure? Maybe I won’t get another offer…”

“I have more than enough money, but in case of a crazy offer…”

If De Bruyne goes to Saudi Arabia, he would receive 150 million over two years. Without confirming the figures, KDB says on this subject: “I have more than enough money, but sometimes they offer really crazy amounts of money. I don’t think about myself, but about my family, my children, my grandchildren. You can’t imagine this situation until you have the offer in front of you.”

“My sons think they are better than me”

Photos of KDB with his children after each match went around the world.I don’t do it for myself, I do it to please my children. When I don’t go and pick them up, they react differently. They don’t come to every City game – it depends on the time – but the Euros are something special. Luckily my eight-year-old wasn’t there against Ukraine. I think he would have understood what was going on, but I would have had a lot of work explaining it all to him. My five-year-old is obsessed with football. They realise their dad is a good footballer, but in their eyes they are better than me. (laughs)

“Forced to go on private vacation”

Family life for the De Bruynes is not as simple as that, given the father’s global fame.We adapted. We don’t do things that ordinary people do. When we go on vacation, we have to take a place that we privatize. I could go to an amusement park with my children, but hey… (laughs) When I train with City in August, my children usually go to the Belgian coast with my in-laws.”

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