De Bruyne can’t remember CL final after broken eye socket but is glad to be back

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It has become easy for Kevin De Bruyne to forget Manchester City’s Champions League final defeat in May.

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That’s because he was on the wrong end of a stroke off Antonio Rudiger’s shoulder – and don’t remember much before or after.

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Kevin De Bruyne doesn’t remember much about last season’s Champions League final after this horrific eye injurycredit: AP
Belgium was involved in a brutal collision with Chelsea ace Antonio Rudiger

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Belgium was involved in a brutal collision with Chelsea ace Antonio Rudigercredit: getty

He missed the last half hour of Thomas Tuchel’s 1-0 loss to Chelsea and was taken to a hospital in Porto for treatment on a fractured eye socket.

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From then on all he can remember is returning to the team hotel the next morning and wearing his city kit from the night before.

Then came a rallying call from club president Khaldoon Al Mubarak, who asked him to take pride in the season rather than focus on the final defeat.

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Looking back on one of the most disappointing nights of his career, De Bruyne said: “There aren’t many memories. Maybe it’s a little dark.

“I remember a few chances and goals in the first half but I don’t remember much after the collision. I don’t remember how I got to the hospital at night.

“I remember going back to the team hotel at 10 in the morning with my city kit, that’s what I remember.

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“It’s sport – it happens. It’s not the best thing ever, but you keep at it.

“These kinds of games you can lose, the other teams are great. And that particular night we lost the game so we move on.”

Despite losing the final, Khaldoon wanted to be positive about the season that saw him win the league and the Carabao Cup double.

KDB, 30, said: “I think the chairman spoke to the team some morning, I don’t know when.

“He just said that he is happy with the contribution I make to the team and over the year.

‘we will return’

“He said some positive words like ‘we will come back, we will fight again to try to win the trophy’.

“There weren’t a lot of people in a good mood, I felt weird about what happened at that time.

“Nice to hear this from the Speaker because it was a huge blow to everyone. It was a positive but small conversation.”

The desire to win the Champions League still burns brightly for Belgian star De Bruyne and it is a trophy missing from the cabinet for all of City’s domestic success.

Their hopes of doing so this year suffered a setback when they were beaten 2-0 by Paris Saint-Germain last month in a memorable match.

De Bruyne said: “I think people will always set higher and higher standards because of what we have done in England over the last five or six years.

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“People expect us to win the Champions League – and that’s what we want to do. We’re always competing for it but we haven’t managed to win it but we’re trying.

“Hopefully we’ll find one here in my period. Does that define your legacy? Maybe for people on the outside.

“It depends, you look at the situation and I am happy with what we have done as a club over the last six years.”


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