ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 26: Manchester City's Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne walks on the grid ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 26, 2023 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Kevin De Bruyne has swapped cutting passes for cutting shapes & our brains are fried

It’s frankly absurd how Manchester City have lost arguably the best midfielder in the world to injury and still looks flawless, which means the return of Kevin De Bruyne can only make them even better. Yikes.

De Bruyne – when fit – is undoubtedly the most creative and productive footballer on the planet, serving up line-splitting passes on a silver platter for those around him.

Watching him flick the ball around a corner, wriggle through a tight gap and then unleash an absolute ping across the field with the outside of his foot is joyous and infuriating in equal measure.

He makes football look so beautifully simple to the point where we all think we’ve got a bit of that flair in our back pockets, only to take it to Powerleague on a Wednesday night and leave with sore ankles, angry teammates and a red face.

For as exceptional as he is, however, his injury record is concerning and proves his mortality.

The Belgium international struggled through City’s treble-winning 2022-23 campaign with a hamstring injury before finally succumbing to it this season, the latest in a flurry of niggles keeping him from turning pitches across Europe into his own personal playground.

Injury layoffs are secretly quite a handy tool for footballers, though, especially those heading into the autumns of their careers.

It’s a chance for reflection and the perfect opportunity to start laying the foundations for a successful post-playing career. Some race to do their coaching badges, others shoehorn themselves onto Sky Sports’ punditry desk.

Some are even picking up the vlogging camera for YouTube or heading to the podcast studio.

De Bruyne, though, has gone completely left-field and  – along with a makeover – has taken up dancing/acting. Sort of.

Spotted at Formula One’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix while he continues to recover from his injury, the Belgian maestro took part in a particularly odd extracurricular activity – filming a dance-themed skit with an unknown man with a large afro.

It’s the most unserious 16 seconds or so you’ll see all week.

A few observations here. Firstly, are we even sure that’s actually De Bruyne?

Between the new hairdo, the beaming smile and the awkwardly flailing limbs, there’s a part of us that feels like we’re having the wool pulled over our eyes.

Secondly, that quiff. Questionable, Kevin. Very risky, but we’ll let you cook. We don’t hate it. It feels rather David Beckham and if anyone can pull that off, it’s probably the 32-year-old.

Onto the elephant in the room – the acting.

Unless we’re in the dark here and De Bruyne is actually out for longer than we thought and has contacts on the cobbles already, we can’t see him being picked up by Coronation Street anytime soon, so it’s back to the drawing board with the retirement plans.

His new friend puts on quite the show, cutting shapes and attempting to steal De Bruyne’s City shirt while the pair appear to be cooped up in some sort of holding room, with an Etihad Airways logo conveniently in view.

De Bruyne, bless him, tries his best to match the energy and has some fun with it, but ends up looking like your estranged uncle dancing after one too many at that wedding you didn’t even want to attend.

Nice to see he’s putting his time off to efficient use, though. The most ‘unemployed friend on a Tuesday’ footage of all time.

It’s good to try new things, Kevin, but maybe leave the dancing to someone else upon returning to the pitch. A new celebration can wait.

By Mitch Wilks

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