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102-goal Manchester City star outlines timeframe for international retirement decision



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Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has discussed his international future following Belgium’s exit from the European Championship.

The 33-year-old suffered late heartbreak in the last-16 of the European Championship on Monday, exiting the competition after a slender 1-0 loss to France at the Düsseldorf Arena, after Jan Vertonghen’s 85th minute own goal.

De Bruyne captained Belgium for the major clash, starting his fourth game of the tournament for Domenico Tedesco’s side, having helped secure their place in the last-16 with a crucial goal against Romania during the group stages.

The Manchester City star could have featured in his final tournament for Belgium, with the midfielder celebrating his 100th international cap prior to the Euro’s, 14 years after making his international debut for the Red Devils.

De Bruyne returned from a long-term absence in January, helping propel Manchester City to a record-breaking fourth consecutive Premier League title, as the 33-year-old registered 24 direct goal involvements in 26 appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side.

The midfielder is out of contract at the Etihad Stadium in 2025, and has been linked with a potential big-money to Saudi Arabia this summer, alongside Manchester City trio Ederson, Kyle Walker and Matheus Nunes.

The 33-year-old has recently committed his short-term future to the Sky Blues, although De Bruyne’s international future is subject to wider speculation following Belgium’s last-16 exit from the European Championship on Monday.

Speaking about his Belgium future, De Bruyne said: “It’s too early to answer. Let me process this loss. It’s a been a very long season, I need to rest my body. I will make my decision after the summer.

“I had a good tournament. Physically I feel fine, too. I tried everything to help this team, it’s a shame I didn’t finish that last chance, but I gave everything.

“During international breaks at City we always get seven to 10 days off. That would be welcome for my family, but I don’t have 10 more years left as a footballer. I have also been absent from the national team many times.

“I’ll say it. If I continue to feel good, I will probably be available. I just don’t know what it will be like next year. A crazy season is coming for City, with even more matches. It must remain physically and mentally feasible.”

The 2024/25 campaign will be De Bruyne’s 10th at Manchester City, and will involve the Belgian featuring in both the expanded UEFA Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup competitions, alongside the Premier League, Carabao Cup and Emirates FA Cup.

Manchester City will be involved in the newly-formatted Champions League, as well as the 32-team FIFA Club World Cup in the United States next summer.