The Belgian midfielder has conceded learning from his Manchester City manager has led to a sudden change of heart when it comes to pursuing a career in coaching
Kevin de Bruyne has changed his mind about becoming a coach – because he wants to pass on Pep Guardiola ’s philosophy to future generations.
The Manchester City midfielder credits Guardiola for turning him into one of the best players in the world during their time at the Etihad.
And the Pep effect has now made De Bruyne rethink his plans for retirement.
De Bruyne said: “When you have worked with a man like Guardiola, you look at this sport in a totally different way.
“For the sake of football in my home country Belgium it would be good to pass on all that knowledge.
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“This is why I am not saying no anymore to coaching.
“I have started a coaching course and I prepare all the lessons which I am told to do.
“At the same time I have to admit there are quite a few things I like away from football too.”
When City paid Wolfsburg £55million to bring him back to the Premier League in 2015 he had just been crowned Bundesliga Player of the Year.
But it was only when Guardiola arrived at the Etihad 12 months later than he found the confidence to really blossom.
He has been key in helping City win three of the last four Premier League titles and has been voted PFA Player of the Year in each of the last two seasons.
Guardiola has another 18 months left on his contract, but the 30-year-old Belgian insists the Catalan’s style will remain ingrained at the club.
De Bruyne, appearing on the MID MID podcast, said: “When I first met him at the club, Pep said to me ‘Kevin, you belong with the best five players in the world.’
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“That was his way to give me confidence and to motivate me.
“I have a very good relationship with the boss, but does that mean I would follow him anywhere?
“Let’s say Guardiola would leave Man City in two year’s time, then it does not mean I immediately follow him out the door.
“City stands for a style of football, a way of playing the game.
“That style does not disappear when the coach is not there anymore.”
De Bruyne also revealed that Guardiola is so intense before games that he often forgets to inform City’s players about his team selection.
He added: “We always have a meeting before a match and Guardiola will then say ‘we are going to do this and this and that. Let’s go!’
“And then we say: ‘Hey, Pep, who is playing?’ He forgets sometimes.
“For him winning is important. But his philosophy is even more important.
“Many people don’t understand this. Pep would rather lose with his football principles than get a win from counter attacking tactics.
“He loves attacking football so much.”
De Bruyne signed a two-year contract extension in May that ties him to City until 2025.
He is now the club’s £400,000-a-week top earner, but feels his wages are unfairly scrutinised when he returns to Belgium.
De Bruyne added: “I earn an awful lot. But my income is only an issue in Belgium.
“As soon as I get together with the boys for an international game, the photographers are there and very quickly it is all about the cars we drive or the clothes we wear. Why?
“Other millionaires never have to talk about this. This is creating jealousy among other people.
“People get angry. And they forget that I work really hard for the career I have built up. I also carry a lot of responsibility to the outside world.
“I play in front of 50,000 or 70,000 people every week. When an artist performs in a stadium and gives a big concert it suddenly is not an issue when he earns millions.”
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