Kevin De Bruyne’s Champions League final adventures came to an end too soon.
On Saturday, in a stark contrast to the 2021 final, Manchester City did without their inspiringly creative playmaker to win the Champions League for the first time.
As Manchester City beat Inter 1–0 in the final, De Bruyne was seen off the bench with an injury in the 36th minute, with the score at 0–0.
De Bruyne had to come on as a substitute, the second time in three seasons he left the field in football’s biggest club game.
Phil Foden stepped in.
“It’s been a tough two months for me, I’ve had a lot of problems with my hamstring,” De Bruyne told BT Sport. “I heard a snap.”
The Belgian star sat out after 30 minutes with an apparent injury to his right thigh muscle or hamstring. He received medical attention for a few moments and played four more minutes before being signaled to substitute the bench.
The injury apparently occurred when De Bruyne attempted a shot towards the Inter goal, his first shot of the match, which was harmless.
Two years earlier, De Bruyne had to leave the game on the hour mark after suffering a serious facial injury in the final, which saw Manchester City lose 1–0 to Chelsea.
De Bruyne suffered a broken nose and left cheekbone after being hit on the shoulder by Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger.
On that occasion, the Belgian burst into tears as he was escorted off the field.
Now he quickly left the field and sat on the bench. Coach Pep Guardiola received it and patted him on the head.
What didn’t stop the injury was that De Bruyne jumped off the bench and ran to celebrate Rodri’s goal in the 68th minute, which eventually gave City the win.
Of course, after six minutes of tense injury time, De Bruyne did just that when the final whistle blew. Then, he joined the noise fest.