Kevin De Bruyne is one of Belgium’s two fierce attacking midfielders hoping to lead the Red Devils to victory in the World Cup. The team will play the United States today with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Left Chelsea After He Was Removed From the Starting Lineup
In January 2012, Bruyne left Genk to sign with Chelsea for a 5-and-a-half-year contract. That August, he was put on loan to Werder Bremen where he played successfully until May 2013. Upon his return to Chelsea, however, he soon encountered problems.
The Daily Mail reports that he started in 5 games for Chelsea when he was benched. When asked why, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho reportedly said, “Kevin, you don’t train well.”
In January 2014, De Bruyne was transferred to Wolfsburg.
2. He Was Named ‘Man of the Match’ During Belgium’s Game Against Algeria
In the June 17 group play match between Belgium and Algeria, De Bruyne was awarded FIFA’s Man of the Match award for his massive assist that tied the game. He played all 90 minutes and made 65 passes during the game.
3. He Says USA Is ‘Physically Very Strong’
Speaking to Eurosport,, De Bryne said that he expected the game against the United States to be a challenge. Referencing a 4-2 victory over the Americans at a game last year, he said, “They are physically very strong and they’ll be going for it. We may under no circumstances compare Tuesday’s game with our friendly in Cleveland last year.”
He went on to say:
Everyone is saying we must be more attacking but look who we have played against. Algeria and Russia set up steady defensive blocks against us. If we get more room, then you will see how creative our players can be
4. Belgium Is Undefeated
Belgium is coming into the Round of 16 with a tremendous amount of momentum. The team won all three games in group play, defeating Algeria 2-1, Russia 1-0, and Korea 1-0. The United States on the other hand, is coming off of a victory over Ghana, a draw with Portugal and a loss against Germany.
5. The Winner Will Play Argentina
The winner of the Belgium vs USA game will move on to the Quarter-finals where they will face either Argentina for a shot at moving on to the Semi-finals and the World Cup. Argentina’s star Messi has led them this far, but after the slow struggle that was their match against Switzerland, either of these teams may have a shot to beat them.