When it comes to adding injury to insult, it doesn’t get much worse than what Manchester City superstar midfielder Kevin De Bruyne faced in Portugal on May 29. The star not only lost the most important trophy in club soccer, but he also suffered a major injury.
Now, that injury could mean the crafty Belgian might not be ready to play for his national team in a few weeks when they take the field for the rescheduled 2020 European Championship.
Manchester City lost to Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League Final
The most important game of the professional soccer season is the UEFA Champions League Finals. It is the culmination of the tournament that pits the biggest, most successful professional clubs in Europe against each other. The 2021 edition was an all-England match where Manchester City took on London’s Chelsea.
City, the betting favorite, dominated the ball with 60% possession and connected on 87% of their passes. The difference in the game was that City only managed one shot on target while Chelsea’s Kai Havertz put one in the back of the net following a mistake by City left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko.
With the win, Chelsea took home their second Champions League trophy in club history. The victory also made history for American soccer. Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic became just the second American ever to receive a Champions League winners medal.
For City, the loss is a huge disappointment. Legendary manager Pep Guardiola once again failed to win the prestigious title away from Barcelona. The team was also unable to send departing superstar Sergio Aguero out with one last massive win.
Kevin De Bruyne broke multiple bones in his face, and his availability for Belgium is now in doubt
One of the tensest moments of the Champions League Final was when De Bruyne collided with Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger’s shoulder on a Man City counterattack. Last year’s PFA Player of the Year laid on the ground for several minutes. He left the game noticeably upset with a bruised face that was more reminiscent of a boxer than a soccer player.
The day after the match, De Bruyne tweeted an update on his condition:
Hi guys just got back from the hospital. My diagnosis is Acute nose bone fracture and left orbital fracture. I feel okay now. Still disappointed about yesterday obviously but we will be back
While De Bruyne’s departure from the Champions League match was a tough loss for City, it might be an even bigger blow to the Belgium Men’s National Team. The team is less than two weeks away from their opening match against Russia on June 12.
Belgium is one of the top betting favorites, along with England and France, to win the tournament. Without their midfield engine in De Bruyne, those hopes will take a massive dive.
The rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament starts June 11, 2021
The European Championship, or simply the Euros, happens every four years. They bring together the top countries in Europe for a month-long tournament to determine the best team on the continent.
The Euros are the second most significant international soccer tournament after the World Cup. It is usually held directly between World Cups, but due to COVID-19, organizers postponed the tournament a year.
In addition to the three favorites, Germany, Spain, Italy, Croatia, and defending champion Portugal all have a shot at winning it all. The tournament will feature some of the biggest stars in the game, including Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Harry Kane (England), Kylian Mbappe (France), Eden Hazard (Belgium), Luka Modric (Croatia), Toni Kroos (Germany), Robert Lewandowski (Poland), and David de Gea (Spain).
All stats courtesy of FBref.com