Kevin De Bruyne’s stature right now as one of the world’s best footballers has come as little surprise to Belgium teammate Steven Defour.
Both players joked around when they were both starting out at Belgian side Genk and Defour saw then in the younger De Bruyne all the attributes that have taken him to the top.
“He really knew what he wanted at that point,” Defour told a news conference before Saturday’s clash.
“He knew he wanted to be a professional player. You could see when you were talking to him. He just wanted to play football and prove it.”
“He was quiet, a good guy, who wanted to play football,” Defour said. “We were always playing on the PlayStation or football outside.
“I was going into the first team so I was away a lot and he was 12 or 13 with the other kids.
“We knew he was good. What struck me about him was right foot, left foot, they were basically the same, which was remarkable for a boy of 12 or 13 years old.
“Even then, he could see things way faster than anyone else, so he could argue with the coach.
“Not really arguing, but if the coach said ‘you have to play the ball right’ he would say no if he could see a better option because he was so ahead of his teammates.”
“It’s a bit early but they’re in good shape. If they continue like this they will be the big favourites,” Defour added.
“We have nothing to lose, that’s for sure. Everybody is thinking Man City are going to win, so we can go there and give our best.
“We’ve had some pretty good results away. We have enough confidence to confront them and go there with a good game plan.”
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