With ego arguably forming a part of the make up of footballers playing at the very top level, one Manchester City star will surely have been taken down a peg or two by recent comments from Thierry Henry.
Kevin De Bruyne currently has 16 assists for City in the 2019/20 campaign, which is just four behind Henry’s all-time Premier League season record for Arsenal.
“I always joked with Henry in the national team, even at Vincent Kompany’s testimonial this year. I saw him and said ‘I’m coming for you this year,'” De Bruyne said to The Athletic and cited by the Daily Mirror.
“To have 16 assists is really nice and speaks really well for a creative player. But if it (the record) doesn’t happen we still go on.”
However, the Frenchman quickly rose to the bait whilst talking to Sergio Aguero in an Instagram Live chat, detailed in the Daily Mirror.
“When you see Kevin [De Bruyne]… because the other day he told me that he’s willing and trying to provide more than 20 assists. He has 16 already, right?” Henry asked.
“Yeah that’s right, 16, and the record in a season is 20. And I hold the record. So he said the other day that he wants to beat it. But I told him that with those 20 assists, you will have to score 24 goals as well! Not only assists!”
At present, De Bruyne has eight goals according to the Daily Mirror, with a maximum of 10 games left to play. Even a player of his talent is unlikely to get anywhere near Henry’s goal tally, though it’s entirely possible that he’ll take the assists record.
City would do well to keep hold of their talisman too once the outcome of their appeal for being banned from the Champions League is heard. He told Het Laatste Nieuws and cited by The Guardian that he would find it hard to stay at the club if a two-year hiatus from European football’s top club competition was upheld.