Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has vowed to play for an extra two years at the end of his career to make up for the time lost due to the coronavirus. The Premier League is postponed until at least April 30 because of the pandemic and is likely to be delayed even longer when the English game’s stakeholders meet tomorrow.
De Bruyne has not played since March 1 because of the health crisis and the miserable experience has underlined to the Belgian star just how much he loves the game. The 28-year-old’s desire to prolong his career comes after he enjoyed a superb personal season with City after missing most of their treble-winning campaign last term due to injury. “I told my wife I’m going to play a little longer,” De Bruyne said in an Instagram Live video Q&A with Belgium teammates Romelu Lukaku and Axel Witsel.
“After this lockdown, I cannot stay at home. I told her I’m going to take two years more. It’s time to play football again. I miss it and it’s difficult. But we are not important, football is not important. People love football, but you need to stay safe.”
De Bruyne revealed his family, including his two children, had been ill during the virus lockdown, but he said they are better now. “I’ve been at home now for two weeks,” he said.
“At the beginning, my family and my kids were a little bit sick so that was a little bit worrying but they are alright now. It took eight or nine days, we don’t know, but now they are better luckily as you never know what is going to happen. People ask why I’m not in Belgium. It’s because I’m self-isolating in England. I live here so I’m here with my kids and wife.”
De Bruyne and the rest of the City squad have been keeping in touch through WhatsApp and video calls during lockdown while Pep Guardiola and his coaching staff have been monitoring their fitness work.
De Bruyne has had a treadmill delivered to his house to ensure he stays in shape until football can resume. “I don’t want a bike,” he added. “I’m swimming every day. Running almost every day now.”
The 28-year-old was closing on the Premier League assists record, standing four behind Thierry Henry’s high of 20. He is also on course to win the league’s own Playmaker of the Year award for the second time in three years, having clinched it in 2018 by setting up Gabriel Jesus’ late winner at Southampton on the final day of the season. De Bruyne is contracted to City until the summer of 2023 after signing a blockbuster five-year deal in 2018.
City were second in the league standings and leading Real Madrid 2-1 after the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie before the season was suspended.
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