Kevin De Bruyne named UCL Midfielder of the Season

In an awards show dominated by Bayern, Kevin De Bruyne was named UEFA’s Champions League Midfielder of the Season.

As to be expected, Bayern Munich players and coaches dominated this year’s UEFA awards, held during the Champions League draw for the season. As the defending champions, the Germans won every award except one—the Champions League Midfielder of the Season Award, won by Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne.

The Belgian was absolutely unplayable this season and thoroughly deserved the trophy for his individual performances despite his team’s lack of success. With Manuel Neuer winning best goalkeeper, Joshua Kimmich best defender, Robert Lewandowski best forward and Men’s Player of the Year, De Bruyne’s inclusion was a true sign of respect. Hansi Flick was also named Men’s Coach of the Year, leaving De Bruyne as the only representative from any other side in the competition, despite going out at the quarterfinal stage to Olympique Lyon.

De Bruyne’s magic has been integral to nearly all of City’s success during his time with the club, but last season it truly shined through as he scored a remarkable 16 goals and added 23 assists, the most in Europe, across 48 appearances. Along the way, he tied Thierry Henry’s record for the most assists in a single Premier League campaign and was instrumental in both of City’s 2-1 wins in the Round of 16 against Real Madrid, arguably the biggest European knockout win in club history.

Nevertheless, his individual success did not translate to a successful season for City, as the team finished 18 points adrift of Liverpool in the league, went out at the quarterfinal stage in Europe, and fell in the FA Cup semi-finals. At his best, however, he is arguably the most talented player to ever pull on a City shirt, is worthy of the permanent captain’s armband following Fernandinho’s departure, and will go down as an absolute legend at the club, and is fully deserving of this recognition.