MX23RW : Saturday, February 16 06:13:12

Kevin De Bruyne hails Pep Guardiola influence

De Bruyne hails Pep Guardiola influence
© Reuters
Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne thanks Pep Guardiola for helping him to "grow a lot as an individual player" over the past 12 months.

Kevin De Bruyne has thanked Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola for 'making football easier' as he prepares for Belgium's World Cup semi-final showdown with France.

The 27-year-old was in the running for the PFA Player of the Year award after helping the Citizens to a record-breaking title win last time out, setting up 16 goals and scoring eight of his own.

De Bruyne had slightly less influence for Belgium from a deeper position in their run to the World Cup semis, but he was pushed further forward in the 2-1 win against Brazil last time out and rewarded boss Roberto Martinez with a long-range belter.

Guardiola is the man De Bruyne is most grateful to, though, telling reporters: "He's helped me grow a lot as an individual player, he's made football easier.

"In the national team we do different things. However, we can say that Belgium has a similar style to Manchester City in the sense that we like to play with the ball and attack."

De Bruyne became the 100th different player to score at the 2018 World Cup, excluding own goals, with his strike against Brazil.


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Belgium coach Roberto Martinez and assistant Thierry Henry during the friendly against Costa Rica on June 11, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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