But it was a pivotal meeting with Mourinho in December 2013 that led to De Bruyne making the ‘best decision to leave Chelsea’.
“There was so much in the press about my relationship with José Mourinho,” De Bruyne explained to Sky Sports last month. But the truth is that I only spoke to him twice. The plan was always for him to give me time.
“José called me into his office in December, and it was probably the second big moment that changed my life. He had some papers in front of him and he said, ‘One assist. Zero goals. Ten recoveries’ ».
“It took me a minute to understand what he was doing. Then he began to read the statistics of the other forwards: Willian, Oscar, [Juan] Eye, [Andre] Schurrle. And it’s like – five goals, 10 assists, whatever.
“José was waiting for me to say something, and finally I said, ‘But… some of these guys have played 15, 20 games. I have only played three. So it’s going to be different, right? ” ‘
It was so strange. I was completely honest. I said, ‘I feel like the club doesn’t really want me here. I want to play soccer. I’d rather you sell me. ‘
De Bruyne won the German FA Cup and Super Cup with Wolfsburg before moving to City and winning the Premier League twice, the FA Cup once and the EFL Cup four times.
He added: “I decided to leave because I felt like I had no chance to play at the time.
“I didn’t see any more opportunities so for me it was the best decision to leave Chelsea and go to a situation where I felt like I could start over.
Did you expect it to be so? Obviously not, because at that time it was a low point in my career but I never had any doubts about my abilities as a footballer.
“I can’t think about what will happen eight years later playing for City, in World Cups and all that. It is wonderful”.