After a double fracture, Kevin De Bruyne is still suffering from a dead feeling on the left side of his face, but he claims it will not affect his performance in the European Championship.
Belgium’s talisman, who fractured his eye socket and nose in last month’s Champions League final, made a late debut into Euro 2020 on Thursday, swiftly reminded the world of his immense talent as he engineered a comeback for his team in a 2-1 win over Denmark in Copenhagen.
The 29-year-old stated he felt little sensation on the side of his face and that medics promised him it will go away within a few months after minor surgery on his eye socket. “It is just a bit irritating,” he told a news conference on Saturday.
“But I am used to it now. I am also less scared in the heading duels. When I was on the field, I did not think about it anymore.”
De Bruyne was injured in a collision with Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger during Manchester City’s defeat in Porto.
“I was not upset with Rudiger, it was one of those things that happens on the field. He tried to block me, not to break my nose, and so it was unlucky for me.”
Belgian supporters feared De Bruyne’s performance at the Euros would be affected as he departed the field in tears.
In the interview, he said:
“The fact that we had such an incredible season with City softened the blow. We tried everything to win, and it did not work out. That’s just part of the way it works in sport.”
When Belgium plays Finland in their final group B match in St Petersburg on Monday, De Bruyne will make his first start since the 29 May final.
“I knew I would not make the first match against Russia but might get some time off the bench against Denmark. I think the timing with 45 minutes (against Denmark) and then starting against Finland is ideal to get some rhythm back.
“I felt good being back, the first half-hour was good. After that, it was more difficult, but that was normal because I was playing my first minutes in three weeks. I hope to be able to hold out against Finland for a longer period of time,” he added.