....Inspired beyond boundaries

Tag: Kevin De Bruyne

Manchester City

Manchester City poised to make History

Never in the history of Manchester City has the club ever played in the UEFA Champions League Finals. Only once has Manchester City reached the semi-final stage of the UEFA Champions League. That was in the 2015/2016 season under coach Manuel Pellegrini. Manchester City was eliminated by Real Madrid 1-0, after a barren draw in the first Leg.

Today, the 4th of April, 2021, the current EPL Leaders, and one of the only two English clubs remaining in the competition, play host to Paris Saint Germaine of France in a crunch 2nd Leg UCL encounter. The first Leg ended 2-1 in City’s favour, with goals coming from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez.

What Manchester City needs to progress to the final for the very first time is a win, a draw or a 1-0 loss. On current form, Manchester City is the overwhelming favourite to progress ahead of the Parisian club, with Kylian Mbappe, the danger man of PSG rumoured to be nursing an injury.

Pep Guardiola is expected to keep the same starting eleven that achieved a huge result in Paris, except for one or two changes at left-back, where Oleksander Zinchenko is expected to start in place of Joao Cancelo.

The expectation is high, and all eyes would be on the home side to perform at their very best. Gundogan, Rodri and Bernardo Silva are expected to orchestrate the midfield, while Ruben Dias who has been a Trojan in defence is expected to start alongside John Stone or Aymeric Laporte. Kyle Walker is a sure berth at right-back.

In between the sticks, Ederson Moraes is assured of his place after a splendid performance in the first leg. Upfront, Riyad Mahrez, Foden and Debruyne are expected to start. Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, Fernandinho, Nathan Ake, Ferran Torres and Benjamin Mendy are options on the bench.

One notable absentee from the PSG side would be Senegalese defensive midfielder Idrissa Gueye who was red-carded in the first leg after a reckless challenge on IILkay Gundogan. Danilo Periera is expected to take his place.

History beckons on Manchester City and the beauty about today’s clash are the motivation and spirit within the camp. It would be the last chance for Sergio Kun Aguero to have a feel of the coveted trophy, and the boys would want to give him a perfect parting gift.

Both sides are desperate to reach the finals, and Brazilian international Neymar speaking ahead of the encounter says “I am ready to die on the pitch to ensure my team progress ahead of Manchester City”. That is surely a rallying call.

The match is billed to be an exciting encounter as both sides are noted for an attractive brand of football. The Etihad stadium beckons on the Manchester City warriors to make a push for history. Heroes are bound to be made and tears of sorrow and disappointment will surely flow. The end of 90 minutes will determine the course of history.

Aneke Courage

Aneke Courage- I admire Kevin De Bruyne and would Love to Play like him

These were the exact words of 17 years old Aneke Courage Chikasiemobi, an attacking midfielder who is on trial with FC Centaur, Russia. The enterprising midfielder who was born in Enugu, southeast Nigeria, has always had the dream of being a footballer from childhood. He started playing while he was 10 and has never stopped loving the round leather game.

Humble beginning

“My parents never supported me in the early stage of my football career. I was beaten several times for coming home late from training and for choosing football rather than academics. It was tough back then”. This is a familiar story with most players back in Africa. The awareness has however changed over the last couple of years, as more parents are now encouraging their kids to pursue their dreams.

Cassi, as he is fondly called, started his footballing journey with Dynamos FC of Enugu, Nigeria, before switching over to Star Plus FC Enugu, Nigeria. The 5 ft 7 in tall midfield maestro who had shared his experience of struggling to find a sponsor to help him pursue his football dreams also had challenges with injuries.

Why football?

Cassi who will turn 18 this October, confessed that he had always had a love for the game while growing up. “My desire had always been to get paid for playing the game I love so much. Football gives me Joy and I catch so much fun playing it”

Aneke Courage who can play anywhere in attack except in the left-wing expressed his admiration for Manchester City Attacking Midfielder Kevin De Bruyne. “Kevin De Bruyne is one player I look up to and I hope to play like him someday.

Move to Russia

The dream of every football player is to become a professional and move a step higher in his football career. It wasn’t different for Courage Aneke, who had always nursed the ambition of moving his career a step higher. That dream became a reality early this year January when he stumbled on an Instagram post about FC Centaur. He immediately made contact with them and was sent an invitation to come for trial with the Russian 4th Division side. The club which was founded on April 16th, 2009 is the largest private Club in Russia.

When asked about adapting to life in Russia, Aneke Courage was honest about his experience. Hear what he said: “Adapting to life in Russia wasn’t easy. It was tough, battling with the cold and the language, but I am learning the language gradually and am getting used to training in the cold”. The coaches usually train us using the Russian language. Luckily for me, some of my teammates can speak English and Russia fluently. He has so far played 22 games, scored 6 goals and provided 9 assists for the Moscow based team.

Standard of the Russian League

According to Aneke Courage whose favorite team is Borussia Dortmund of Germany, The standard of the Russian League is not too high compared to the Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga, English Premier League, and the Italian Serie A. The major reason for the low standard of the League is because the majority of the players in almost all the teams are homegrown players. Foreign nationals are not given much opportunity in the Russian League.

Racism in Russia

Russia has always been in the news when it comes to the issue of racism in sports, especially in football. In 2011, fans of Russian Premier League side Lokomotiv Moscow displayed a banner. It was about Nigerian striker Peter Osaze Odemwingie featuring a banana saying ‘Thank you, West Bromwich Albion after the player left to join West Bromwich Albion. Aneke Courage confirmed he had not experienced any form of racism since he’s been on trial with FC Centaur. He however mentioned the attitude of match referees who often made calls against blacks on the field of play.

Aspirations

Aneke Courage who loves listening to music and also praying before crucial games, already has his mind fixed on his next move. “My dream is to move to a professional side in Denmark next year. I believe that with Hard Work, whatsoever you want to achieve in life is possible. Believe in yourself and remember nothing is impossible with God”. When asked if his parents have changed their mind as regards supporting his footballing career? He smiled and answered: “ They support me 100%”.

Dreams will push you beyond limits

Dreams will push you beyond limits

Dreams simplified

Dreams are the fuels that carry us through the journey of life. Sometimes, the journey may seem rough and the road looks a bit bumpy. What keeps us going is the dream that gave birth to our initial momentum in life.

The beautiful dreams of Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne had always had the dream of becoming a top footballer while still playing at Belgian club Genk. The relatively unknown Belgian who had this fiery personality and a tenacious spirit experienced something that later on changed his entire career in 2009 while still with Genk.

In his first year with the Belgian club. He was made to live with a family, but due to his withdrawn attitude, the family informed the club that they do not want Kevin to stay with them anymore. The young Belgian was understandably upset and heartbroken.

 “People were saying that I wasn’t going to make it because of my poor character. I told myself at that point: ‘Let’s see who has the last word.”

Dream come true for Kevin De Bruyne or so it seemed

True to his word, Chelsea came calling for his services in 2012, and he later signed with the London club in a five years deal worth £6.7 Million. He was however faced with so many challenges while with Chelsea under coach Jose Mourinho, which left him with bitter memories.

His dreams of becoming a world-class footballer were almost becoming a nightmare, and he was eventually sold to  German Club VFL Wolfsburg in 2014. It was a move that ignited the full potential of the midfielder.

Dreams rekindled

At Wolfsburg, he made a whopping 21 assist in the 2014/15 football season and break the Bundesliga assist record in the process. He ended the season with 28 assists in all competition and was voted the 2015 German footballer of the year. In August 2015, Manchester City acquired the services of the talented midfielder in a deal that surpassed the then club record (£55 million).

KDB shines brightly at Manchester City

Dreams do come true, and for Kevin De Bruyne, his dreams were already unfolding before his eyes. His amazing form in Manchester City’s colors has seen him amassing a total of 67 assists in 158 appearances.

He was recently voted UEFA Midfielder of the year, Premier League player of the season, and UEFA Men’s Player of the year award. The best is yet to come for the fiery Belgian who has also been in astounding form for the Belgian national team.

In reality, Dreams do come true, but in the process of achieving one’s dream, there would be challenges that need to be surmounted. There would be moments of doubts, days of uncertainty, dry spells, and even failure. But as long as we hold on to our dreams, we would achieve all we set our hearts to achieve.

Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne is the best midfielder in the EPL

He doesn’t need much introduction

Kevin De Bruyne is undoubtedly the best-attacking midfielder in the English Premier League and there are facts to prove my assertion. The 28-Year-old Belgian international who was shipped out by Jose Mourinho while playing for Chelsea in the 2011/12 football season has blossomed into a complete midfielder ever since. 

Signed by Manchester City from German Bundesliga side Wolfsburg on the 30th of August 2015 at a then club-record fee of £55 million, the multilingual player stock has risen in the past four seasons under manager Manuel Pellegrini and Pep Guardiola. Simply unplayable when he is in full flight, the midfield general his renown for killer passes and can thread a pass through the eye of a needle.

Assist Record 

Kevin De Bruyne played 25 games in his first season with Manchester City. He finished the 2015/16 season with 7 goals and 9 assists. He continued his red hot form in the 2016/17 football season, where he played 55 games and scored 7 goals. In that season, he provided 23 assists.

The Belgian who can score with his right and left foot, and is also good with set-pieces, was not yet done with goals and assist. In the 2017/2018 football season, Kevin De Bruyne played 62 matches (the highest in a single season since he joined City), and he scored an impressive 14 goals and provided 25 assists.

That was the season where Manchester City won all four domestic trophies available and created quite some records. It was indeed a good season for the man nicknamed “The assist Master”. In the 2018/2019 football season, he experienced an injury-ravaged season but still managed to feature in 24 games while scoring 6 goals and providing 11 assists. The young Belgian has also replicated his goal-scoring and assist record for his Belgium national team- The Red Devils.

In a Euro 2020 qualifier between Belgium and host Scotland played at the Hampden Park in September last year, Kevin De Bruyne was in devastating form. In the space of 30 minutes, he provided 3 assists to ensure Belgium inflict a 4-0 defeat on their host.

Stats don’t Lie

Paul Pogba of Manchester United and Mesut Ozil of Arsenal have often been compared and even rated ahead of Kevin De Bruyne, but stats indeed don’t lie. A close look at the stats from the official English Premier League website will show who the best midfielder of the Premier League is.

Kevin De Bruyne has made 146 appearances for City, with 31 goals and 62 assists. He has made 54 passes per match and created 87 big chances from those passes.

Paul Pogba of Manchester United has made 63 passes per match and created 19 big chances from those passes.

Mesut Ozil of Arsenal has made 184 appearances, scoring 33 goals and making 54 assists. He has made 60 passes per match and created just 65 big chances from those passes.

Breaking Thierry Henry’s record

The Belgian is just shy of 4 more assists to equal Thierry Henry’s assist record in the current season that has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. He still has the chance to equal and even surpass the French legend’s record with just 10 games more to go. The possibility is there and Kevin De Bruyne is capable of doing the impossible, just like he did when providing the assist to Gabriel Jesus to help Manchester City reach the Centurion points in the 2018/2019 football season with the last kick of the game.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén