This Thursday, December 1, was the day that Kevin de Bruyne cried again, like that May 29, 2021 when he had to retire injured in the 55th minute of the Champions League final between his Manchester City and Chelsea after a hard blow to the head in a collision with Antonio Rüdiger.
De Bruyne left the pitch at the Do Dragao stadium in tears, which were repeated when Pep Guardiola’s City ended up losing 0-1 in the final against Chelsea then led by Thomas Tuchel.
De Bruyne also left the pitch of Ahmed bin Ali crying this Thursday, like Romelu Lukaku, like Toby Alderweireld, like other ‘red devils’. Many know that, due to age, it was his last World Cup. They could not repeat their great performance at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, when they finished third. On this occasion the 0-0 against Croatia left them out of the tournament. Shortly after Roberto Martínez, Belgium coach, announced his resignation. End of cycle. And very painful.
De Bruyne, at 31 years old usually stellar in his City, was not the true De Bruyne in this World Cup. He did not shine on the field, much less outside, when some of his statements contributed to a great internal crisis in the Belgium dressing room.
«We are too old to win this World Cup,» said De Bruyne, who did not go to celebrate Michy Batshuayi’s goal against Canada. The ‘citizen’ went to tell Roberto Martínez what in his opinion was not working in the team. Alderweireld went over to embrace de Bruyne and he waved him away.
De Bruyne, usually the image of football quality, was the spitting image of frustration at the Qatar 2022 World Cup.