Pep Guardiola returns to substitution from angry Kevin De Bruyne: “I completely understand his reaction, but …”


It was a bit of a shock for the fans of Manchester City in the Champions League clash against Bayern (3-0 win). Kevin De Bruyne was taken to the side early and made it clear to trainer Pep Guardiola that he was not served by this. On Friday, the Catalan got back on track.

Vincent Van Genechten

De Bruyne was taken off in the 68th minute and replaced by Julian Alvarez. Before that, the Red Devil made a painful face after a tap, but there was no question of an injury, as his dissatisfied reaction showed.

“It was a tactical decision to bring Julian in for him,” Guardiola said when asked about De Bruyne’s early substitution. “I made the decision based on the performance I saw on the pitch. We needed extra energy from Julian at that moment. I’m here to make the decisions. That is my greatest quality.”


On Friday – at the press conference for the league match against Leicester – the consequences of the incident were again asked.

“If I want to speak to Kevin, I will speak to him,” said Guardiola. “But I haven’t seen him since then, so it won’t work. It is also not the first time that something like this has happened, here or at other football clubs, and it will happen again in the future. I completely understand his reaction, but there are also players who have not played. That’s what I think about the most when making a selection: the guests who won’t play. Everyone wants to play, give their best and help the team. I get that, completely.”

“And can you imagine the past seven years without Kevin De Bruyne?” the Catalan asks a question back. “That is impossible. Look at recent games against Liverpool, Burnley, Southampton… But every game is different. At that moment I just saw the need for a substitution for Julian. That’s why I’m here. So it’s nothing personal, I just wanted to do what I thought was best to win that match. If it didn’t work, I looked bad. But it worked this time, so…”

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