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Kevin De Bruyne: The Awkward Enigma


Belgian international Kevin De Bruyne has had a stunning season so far, helping Wolfsburg with 11 goals and 20 assists. While we feel that De Bruyne’s performances haven’t been spoken about enough outside Bundesliga circles, here is Cabral Opiyo with his thoughts on ‘The Awkward Enigma’.

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The first rule of a gunfight; bring a gun. Second rule, bring friends with guns. That is exactly what Kevin is doing with his new posse consisting Bas Dost, Daniel Caligiuri and Maximilian Arnold and boy, aren’t they tearing up the Bundesliga and the Europa league, Kevin is the yin to Dost’s Yang.

Possibly the player with the worst fashion sense in world football De Bruyne gives off an air of detached nonchalance from worldly distractions, two years ago he was involved in a bit of a kerfuffle with Thibaut Courtois over femalely attentions and was inexplicably binned by Jose at Chelsea, it was supposed to be Kevin, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard, a fairytale that was stomped on by a bitter white witch (read Mourinho) but that has not deterred KDB’s seemingly impregnable air of aloofness that is borderline arrogance, the kid believes in himself. Already on 20 assists this season, he is the premier attacking midfield supremo in Europe yet he won’t bamboozle a defense with silky skills like Hazard or dazzle a defender into a stupor a la Neymar, rarely will he tie his marker in knots either like Robben does and that’s what makes our Kevin awkwardly special.

He is borderline clumsy at times and his touch deserts him and is so wayward that Rooney chuckles, but when he gets it right the ball nestles in his instep, he plays it an opera, he lulls it to sleep, plucks it out of obscurity like Poseidon claims lightning and he manipulates the ball to his will, his soul and the ball’s are intertwined and it is a marvelous thing to watch, he passes and moves and demands it back and when a striker wants a goal Kevin puts it on a plate in a picnic basket and lets Little Red Riding Hood deliver it in person, he is the real assist maestro and though statistics often lie his read like a good script and his performance’s more often than not co-relate with them.

KDB is much much more than a gangly, awkward and oft assistance giving footballer, after his various loan spell in Germany at Werder Bremen, a team that was swimming against the tide of relegation, he was forced to grow up very fast and his weird charisma had to shine through, weird because he isn’t a vocal lad or too tenacious, he’s more homely than lung bursting and ferocious.

You get the feeling that he is more cheeky in a Tom Sawyer kind of way than a follow the light kind of leader yet he was an enormous factor in single handedly dragging Bremen out of the relegation dog fight, he let his football do the talking. His shyness almost reminds you of a certain Ginger haired midfield dynamo who played for Manchester United, his vendetta with Jose Mourinho aside he seems to have matured immensely in the short time they worked together.

In Dieter Hecking’s rather expressive and most times plain gung ho team tracking back is a tad harder for everyone especially the chief playmaker since they are always in and around the oppositions penalty area yet it is not a rare sight to see him busting a gut, cheeks puffed and colored bright cherry red trying to chase down an opponent.

What he does so well is attack though, he pulls defenders out of position and is generally nary a man defenders want to give an inch, give a man an inch and he takes a mile and as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean succinctly puts it, take what you can and give nothing back – Kevin De Bruyne is that kind of a person. His running off the ball is excellent and as Dante of Bayern Munich will attest he was pulled out of position, taken back in and sent to Timbuktu via KLM before KDB smashed a belter into the cocky Neuer’s net and left the world’s best stopper red faced and wiped the smug smiles off of Bayern Munchen’s faces. T

hat Dieter Hecking has this man- child eating out of his hands can only be good news for hipster fans of his, Jose hadn’t the foggiest idea of how to do that. Will he be on the move in the summer? His attacking notoriety and the way he plays with a fire in his belly has ensured that he’s forced himself into the reckoning of many a top club, if he goes he goes but meanwhile we should all sit back and enjoy Kevin and his merry band of friends shred and loot, destroy and plunder other teams like Pirates in the high seas, they do it with such grace and subtleness it beguiles you, that the band is led by an awkward man child with Ginger hair and a naughty face is of no consequence.


Written by Cabral Opiyo

Cabral Opiyo

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