INTERVIEW: Kevin De Bruyne On Guardiola, Assists And Playing In A Deeper Role
A couple of weeks back, a day after he played a starring role in Manchester City annihilating Watford in a 6-0 drubbing on the final day, SPORTbible had the pleasure of chatting to Kevin De Bruyne as we played a game of FIFA (he beat me 2-1 for the record).
Under Pep Guardiola, the Belgian dropped into a deeper role than the position he typically played back in English football under Manuel Pellegrini, but despite playing further back and being more involved in the build-up rather than the final touch, KDB was the Premier League's highest assists last term - setting up 18 goals.
Here is De Bruyne picking his Premier League Team of the Season using EA Sports' concept squad feature:
And here our some snippets from the conversation as we did our fair bit of button bashing whilst playing FIFA:
Playing in a deeper role last season:
"It doesn't matter to be fair. I talked about it with the manager and he says obviously you will be less involved in goals because you are further back up the pitch but that's the sacrifice I had to make for the team and I think in the end the players upfront they have so much quality, and I'm happy with the way that I played."
Enjoying playing under Guardiola:
"I like it, I think the way we play is very enjoyable - I think people see it in the way we try to play, it's very good, very positive. Obviously we didn't get the title or anything but I think from playing style we were one of the best.
"I think at this level everything is detail, it's not a big difference, it's the small things that make the difference. It's been the story of the year a little bit but that's just the things that happen in football and there's nothing you can say or do about it.
"He likes to play nice football and that is his philosophy. He prefers to play nice and take a risk because that's just the way we play and in the end he will take the blame for it. I remember the Arsenal game [away] where we leading 2-1 but he was very unhappy with the way we played."
Picking his best performance last season:
"I think United
the first half, away, was pretty good. Even our home game against Tottenham
when we put them under the pressure the whole game, in the end we didn't win it
but performance-wise I think it was a good one. There were a lot of
performances where I thought we were good but we just didn't win the games.
It's stupid to say 'yeah we were good, blah blah blah' but if you don't win [it
doesn't count for anything]."
Playing alongside Leroy Sane:
"I like it
[playing with him]. It's good for me and also for him, every time he runs you
cannot stop him - it's just the quality you have as a player and obviously if
you have this quality and you use it in the right way, you will be very
powerful. I think he will be even better but at this age he's already he's
showing what he can do with space."
Assists and which one was his favourite last season:
"In Germany I think had 20 or 21 I should have had more more to be fair this year. I think the one against Middlesbrough [for Aguero's goal in a 1-1 draw at the Etihad]."
SPORTbible: Footballing idol?
KDB: Zinedine Zidane.
SPORTbible: Best player you've ever played with?
KDB: Frank Lampard.
SPORTbible: Favourite goal ever scored?
KDB: The first goal I ever scored as a professional, and the one I scored against the United States in the World Cup.
SPORTbible: Goal or assist?
KDB: Assist. All day.
Featured Image Credit: PA