Childhood & Early Life
Kevin De Bruyne was born on June 28, 1991 in Drongen, Ghent, Belgium, to Herwig and Anna. Kevin spent early few years of his life travelling through England and Africa, due to his mother’s background. His father was involved in the oil investment business and hence his family was almost always on the move due to business purposes.
Kevin’s first stint with football took place while he was 4 years of age and living in his hometown of Drongen. He then started playing football in school. One of the biggest early motivations for Kevin was the fact that Belgian football was in a very pathetic condition when he was growing up.
At the age of 14, Kevin left him home due to lack of proper infrastructure that could provide wings to his aspirations of becoming a world class footballer. He joined Genk’s academy in its youth system and started honing his skills. During his early years at the academy itself, he started gaining media attention and was already a star player in his teenage.
Although his family had no dearth of money, Kevin survived on the very little money that he made at the club. He attributes this time to be the epoch that made him independent. He only visited his family during the weekends and put all his heart and soul in football.
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In 2008, his hard-work finally paid off and he was selected for the first team squad in Genk and made his debut in May 2009. However, he was only able to establish himself in the team by the next year. The 2010-11 season turned out to be lucky one for Genk as they were crowned with the Belgian Championship. In all the 32 games that he played in the league, Kevin scored five goals and 16 assists.
In October 2011, Kevin scored his first hat-trick for Genk in a match winning performance against Club Brugge. He finished the league with 8 goals that he scored in 28 matches. By February 2012, English club Chelsea had decided to bring Kevin in their team and Kevin made his debut for them in July 2012.
In August 2012, Chelsea made the official announcement regarding the temporary transfer of Kevin to the German team Werder Bremen ahead of the Bundesliga. His competitive performance in Bundesliga justified his loaning perfectly and in July 2013, Kevin made a comeback to the official Chelsea line-up.
In a friendly game against Malaysia just ahead of the 2013-14 season, Kevin injured his knee while scoring a goal. He was however fit before he made his competitive debut in the premier league against Hull City. In the game that Chelsea won, Kevin assisted in scoring of the first goal for his team.
Following his sub-par performance for Chelsea, the team decided to let him go in January 2014 to Wolfsburg. In the 2014-15 Europa League, he performed excellently and caught all the right attentions. In the third group stage match, he scored two goals against Krasnodar and in the next game against Bayern Munich, he further ensured his team’s victory by scoring another goal.
Kevin ended the league season with 10 goals and 21 assists and his team ended up as the first runner up by the end of the league. This had them qualifying pretty easily for the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League. Ending his debut season for Wolfsburg with 16 goals in total, he was named the Footballer of the Year in Germany. His 21 assists in the league was a new record.
It was reported in early 2015 that English club Manchester City was closely following Kevin and approached him twice before he finally accepted their offer in August 2015. Towards the end of August, official announcement was made by Manchester City that they had acquired Kevin for a six years contract. He was purchased for an amount of 55 million pounds, making him the second costliest purchase by any English club.
He scored in almost all his first few games for MC and in October 2015, it was speculated that he was being considered for a Ballon D’or award. He played a major role in getting his team to the finals of the Football League Club. But an unfortunate injury in the semi-finals had him taking break from the field for next two months.
In April 2016, he made a comeback right ahead of the UEFA Champions League and he further scored goals to lead his team to the semi-finals. This was the first time that Manchester City had reached this far in Champions League. But his team’s aspirations of winning the league remained unfulfilled.
He was named ‘man of the match’ twice in September 2016 and had a fairly good season. In January 2018, Manchester City announced that they will be keeping him until 2023 as a new contract had been signed.
As for his international career, it was rumoured that Kevin will be playing in the English national team given the fact that his mother was an English woman. But he chose Belgium and made his international debut for Belgium in a friendly match against Finland in 2010. Before his final arrival into the senior team, he had been a part of many under age teams for his country.
In May 2014, he was announced as one of the very first players to be chosen for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and in his team’s very first match against Algeria, he was named ‘man of the match’. He was also named in the national squad for UEFA Euro 2016. His national team performed poorly and was eliminated out in the early stages itself.
Kevin De Bruyne has been in a relationship with Michele Lacroix since 2014 and the couple gave birth to a son in 2016. Following the childbirth, the couple got married in June 2017.
Kevin is known for his short temper off and on the field. In 2013, it was reported by Daily Mail that Kevin’s then girlfriend Caroline Lijnen was cheating on Kevin with his teammate Thibaut Courtois. Kevin violently attacked Courtois during one of their practice session and they both reconciled later.
Kevin travelled extensively when he was a kid and his love for learning new languages made him fluent in French, Dutch, English and German.