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Coronavirus lockdown makes Kevin de Bruyne want to extend career

Absence of football has made 28-year-old keen to delay retirement by two years

Manchester City star Kevin de Bruyne has said the coronavirus pandemic, which has suspended football across most of the globe, has made him want to delay his retirement plans by two years.

The English Premier League has been suspended since March 13, shortly after Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for the virus.

The EPL will not resume until April 30, at the earliest.

Midfielder de Bruyne has not played for a month, with his last appearance coming in City's 2-1 League Cup final win over Aston Villa on March 1.

The 28-year-old Belgian said in an Instagram Live video: "I told my wife I'm going to play a little longer.

"After this lockdown, I cannot stay at home. I told her I'm going to take two years more.

"It's time to play football again. I miss it and it's difficult.

"But we are not important, football is not important. People love football, but you need to stay safe.

"I've been at home now for two weeks.

"At the beginning, my family and my kids were a little bit sick so that was a little bit worrying, but they are alright now.

"It took eight or nine days, we don't know, but now they are better, luckily, as you never know what is going to happen."

De Bruyne has had a fantastic season after missing most of the last campaign through injury.

He tops the EPL charts in assists (16), chances created (96), big chances created (23), successful passes into the final third (540) and successful crosses and corners (69).


Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp has picked de Bruyne as his Player of the Season, telling Sky Sports: "He is the best passer in Premier League history...

"His statistics this year have been his best ever, and if the rest of the City side had been as consistent as him, they'd probably be in contention with Liverpool...

" If it does go to somebody outside of the Liverpool team, he is the only person you can really mention, because he has been that good."

Like de Bruyne, Greg Taylor has also missed football.

But the Scotland and Celtic fullback says that his life as a footballer has been put into perspective by watching his nurse girlfriend battle the pandemic.

The 22-year-old left-back's partner works for Britain's National Health Service (NHS), and he told Celtic's website: "My girlfriend is a nurse, so she's been really busy.

"She works different shifts, they're all 12-hour shifts, and she'll normally do around four each week.

"It's been tough for her and I couldn't be more proud of her...

"To be with someone who works in the NHS puts everything else into perspective."