Man City star Kevin De Bruyne’s worrying comments see that club-versus-country debate lifts its ugly head – Alex Brotherton

Kevin De Bruyne’s latest admission may have triggered the latest club vs country debate.

Speaking to the Belgian newspaper HLN, the Manchester City star revealed that he played in the Euro 2020 quarter-final against Italy with painkillers, something that might have actually aggravated his ankle injury.

“I knew right away that my ankle was bad after that tackle against Portugal,” said De Bruyne. “I played against Italy with two injections. If I had known in advance what my ankle would have been like [it was] afterwards I would not have played football. “

Had De Bruyne been out that match, he might not have suffered the discomfort in his ankle that saw him miss much of the first month of City’s season.

Of course we have the advantage of hindsight, but was he wrong when he made the decision he made?

KDB was wrong to play – Ross Jackson

I mean, is this a debate at all?

One of the most talented football players in the world, who has suffered a number of injury problems in recent years, is taking painkillers just to represent his country at a tournament.

First of all, it is not lost on me that it is a bit blasé just to refer to a European Championship as ‘a tournament’ – each player strives to represent their country and deliver success, and that hunger will naturally increase when a country as De Bruyne’s native Belgium has been waiting so long to receive great honors.

However, De Bruyne could have done serious damage to his body, jeopardizing his ability to represent City – the team that pays his salary – for the rest of his contract with the club (a contract that still has four years to run). , of road).

Did De Bruyne have the right to play through the pain?

The Belgian star will be 31 when the World Cup 2022 comes, which means he will almost certainly get a chance to play for his country at a major tournament, unless of course he gets injured, but at least he is sensible and not increase the risk of injury by taking painkillers to play through the pain caused by existing blows …

It is completely understandable that De Bruyne wanted to represent his country in the quarter-finals of a major tournament, but it was certainly not worth risking his capacity to play a full role in all that still awaits City.

I will be completely selfish here and say that De Bruyne is one of the most majestic players I have ever seen play in the Premier League, and the thought that he is endangering the rest of his career is just not pleasant.

Please do not do it again, Kevin.

KDB were right to play – Alex Brotherton

From his own and City’s perspective, De Bruyne was right in playing against Italy.

De Bruyne has struggled with injury throughout his career

From a player welfare perspective, it seems like an irresponsible line to take, but in the context of a major tournament, it’s hard to say otherwise. The Belgian doctors and physiotherapist will no doubt have performed several tests on De Bruyne’s ankle prior to the Italy game and advised him that he could play.

Yes, they obviously had a motive to get their best player on the field, but in these situations you have to trust that the players know their own body. Ankle injuries and the like do not look like concussions or head injuries, where decisions sometimes have to be made out of the players’ hands.

The career of a professional footballer is short, which means that the chances of international glory do not come very often. After experiencing the disappointment of losing in the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, De Bruyne was understandably desperate to try to help his team do better in Euro 2020. Of course he did not succeed, but who could have denied him the chance to sample?

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Certainly not City. Yes, the club pays his salary, so should have something to say about his welfare, but players playing in big tournaments are a good thing for clubs.

A player returning to the pre-season after success on the big stage will be more motivated than ever to keep moving forward and winning. Pep Guardiola, though he may be annoyed by De Bruyne’s injection decision, knows this better than most. In 2008, after Barcelona prevented Lionel Messi from playing at the Olympics in Beijing, Guardiola intervened and made sure his new star traveled.

Football clubs pay their players as employees; they do not own them. If De Bruyne decides to risk his own health in the pursuit of international glory, then it is his choice and we should respect that.

Do you think De Bruyne was right in playing through the pain? Follow our City Is Ours team – Ross Jackson and Alex Brotherton – on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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