Belgian midfielder substituted in 1-0 win over Inter Milan in Istanbul
Rodri’s 68th-minute goal helps secure famous treble for Citizens
While reluctant to accept his wife Michele was right, Kevin de Bruyne said she told him Manchester City would win the Champions League back in August.
A 1-0 victory over Inter Milan in Istanbul sealed a famous treble for the club after they earlier lifted the Premier League and FA Cup.
City’s pursuit of a first European title has been riddled with heartbreak since De Bruyne joined them in 2015, including a 2021 final loss to Chelsea.
But there was finally joy as Rodri’s 68th-minute goal settled a nervy encounter.
“I don’t know why, but my wife said in August, ‘you’re going to win the Champions League,’” the Belgian midfielder said.
“I’ve no idea why, but she always maintained I would. She said before the game, ‘I’m not worried, you’ll be fine, you’ll win it.’
“In the end it’s a little bit of a shame because I have to tell her she was right, so that’s not the best.
“There’s always the pressure when you have never done it to do it and now we have. But we’ve not lost one game in the Champions League this season so I think we deserve it.
“Even if the game wasn’t the best, we did what we had to do to win the game and that was the difference compared to two years ago.”
And just as in the final against Chelsea, De Bruyne had to come off early due to injury.
After a fractured nose and eye socket against Chelsea, he suffered a hamstring tear against Inter that is expected to keep him out for up to three months.
“I don’t look at football that way, it is what it is,” said the Belgian, who will miss the chance of a 100th cap for his country in the forthcoming Nations League games.
“I’ve been struggling for two months, since the Bayern Munich game away. Obviously I missed some games, but the games like Arsenal, Bayern and Real Madrid I managed to do it.
“So I missed, I would say, a fair amount of games, but it was all small ruptures, but here I snapped it all the way so I wasn’t able to go on.
De Bruyne said he had been told for two months there was a possibility he was at risk.
“I give everything for my team and the people in the club know that. I feel proud that I’ve been able to do what I did. It’s a shame that it went the way it did for me, but we go away winning the Champions League so there’s nothing bad toward it.
“I’ve basically been fighting all my career with my team to win this medal. I still don’t think it defines my career. I think it helps but I don’t judge myself or my career solely on this game.”