“It was probably the second big life-changing moment for me.”
Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has detailed the humiliating conversation that he shared with former manager Jose Mourinho which led to his departure from Chelsea in 2014.
De Bruyne revealed that during a “strange” discussion with Mourinho, the Portuguese coach began to read the Belgian’s game statistics aloud.
Mourinho then proceeded to read out the figures of other Blues players who happened to have better stats than De Bruyne, seemingly in an effort to embarrass the Belgian.
After Mourinho had spoken, De Bruyne bluntly informed the 58-year-old that he preferred to leave the club, as he didn’t feel like he was wanted at Stamford Bridge.
Kevin de Bruyne.
De Bruyne joined the Blues from Belgian club Genk back in 2012, as a highly touted youngster.
While much was expected of the Belgian, he struggled to fit in, and he was sent out on loan to Werder Bremen a year after his Chelsea move.
The 29-year-old eventually left the London club to join Wolfsburg, before arriving back in the Premier League to join Man City.
De Bruyne at City.
De Bruyne has flourished at Man City, with current manager Pep Guardiola playing no small part in bringing out the best of the midfielder’s qualities.
The two-time Premier League winner has contributed 60 goals and a staggering 105 assists in 249 appearances for the Citizens.
His performances for City have led many Blues fans to question their club’s decision to let De Bruyne leave back in 2014.
Among the Premier League's all-time top 10 players for total assists, Kevin De Bruyne leads the way for assists-per-game 🎯 pic.twitter.com/eugLSnsree
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 2, 2021
De Bruyne on Mourinho.
De Bruyne spoke with Sky Sports and he detailed the “strange” conversation that he shared with then Blues coach Mourinho, which eventually led to his exit.
“There was so much in the press about my relationship with Jose Mourinho,” De Bruyne revealed.
“But the truth is that I only ever spoke to him twice. The plan was always for me to go on loan for a bit.
“Jose called me into his office in December, and it was probably the second big life-changing moment for me. He had some papers in front of him, and he said, ‘One assist. Zero goals. 10 recoveries’.
“It took me a minute to understand what he was doing. Then he started reading the stats of the other attacking forwards – Willian, Oscar, [Juan] Mata, [Andre] Schurrle. And it’s like – five goals, 10 assists, whatever.
“Jose was just kind of waiting for me to say something, and finally I said, ‘But some of these guys have played 15, 20 games. I’ve only played three. So it’s going to be different, no?’
“It was so strange. I was completely honest. I said, ‘I feel like the club doesn’t really want me here. I want to play football. I’d rather you sell me.’
“I decided to go away because I felt I didn’t have any chances of playing at the time. I didn’t see more opportunities coming so for me, it was the best decision to leave Chelsea and go to a situation where I felt I could start again.”