Kevin De Bruyne was the toast of half of Manchester last night after his goal put the Blues into a semi-final of Europe’s major competition for the first time.
That would be enough for most players but a little further thought shows that he had a major influence on the outcome of both of last night’s quarter finals.
During the summer transfer period, my feeling was that De Bruyne would be well advised to stay at Wolfsburg for one more season. My logic was that he’d need time to become accustomed to the Premier League hot-house and that this could impact his readiness for the forthcoming Euros.
I underestimated the man. He took to life in Manchester like a duck to water, racking up 15 goals and 12 assists in all competitions – even with time out for a serious injury.
The guy is impressive. It’s unforgiveable that he gets so much criticism about his attitude. Yes, he knows his own mind but he shuns the limelight and is almost an anti-star.
Looking at last night’s quarter-finals, a Wolfsburg side containing De Bruyne would have had enough in their tank to get past Real Madrid. I would have backed him to grab a goal in Madrid to send the Bundesliga side through.
In the other tie, De Bruyne did more than any other player to put out PSG. Without the Belgian, Laurent Blanc’s team would have triumphed.
One man, two games, genius.