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Euro 2024 nation hire Manchester City backroom staff member amid fitness fears surrounding 102-goal star at tournament



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Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is accompanied by a key member of Pep Guardiola’s backroom staff at the European Championship this summer.

The midfielder, who turns 33 this month, helped Belgium to a crucial 2-0 win over Romania on Saturday, pouncing brilliantly in the 80th minute to keep Belgium’s hopes of reaching the last-16 of the European Championship alive.

De Bruyne will captain Belgium again on Wednesday, with Domenico Tedesco’s side needing a win over Ukraine in Stuttgart to qualify for the knockout stages of the tournament in Germany.

The 32-year-old has made 103 appearances for Belgium, and is competing at the European Championship despite missing six months of the campaign for Manchester City, after undergoing surgery for a recurring hamstring injury last August.

De Bruyne suffered a fresh setback on the opening weekend of the 2023/24 campaign at Turf Moor, having been forced off in last June’s UEFA Champions League Final against Inter Milan with a similar problem.

The midfield star, who has been at the Etihad Stadium since 2015, returned in late January to helped propel Pep Guardiola’s side to a record-breaking sixth Premier League title in seven years.

De Bruyne was directly involved in 24 goals in 26 appearances for Manchester City, including 14 direct goal involvements in 18 Premier League showings.

The Belgian has been linked with a potential big-money move to Saudi Arabia this summer, however Manchester City have taken steps to ensure De Bruyne is available for the start of the campaign in August, should he remain in east Manchester for a 10th year.

Both De Bruyne and Manchester City forward Jeremy Doku are accompanied within the Belgium first-team camp in Germany by the Blues’ head of recovery Tom O’Malley, according to the Daily Mail.

The physiotherapist is there for all of Belgium’s squad at the European Championship, but will ‘primarily’ be focussed on De Bruyne, who is crucial to both Belgium and Manchester City’s pursuits of silverware.

O’Malley has been at the Etihad Stadium since 2020, moving to Manchester City from Rugby League side Wigan Warriors.

O’Malley isn’t the only member of Guardiola’s backroom staff to be on secondment this summer, with England having signed the Sky Blues’ Head of Psychology for the T20 Cricket World Cup.