‘Second to none’ – Thierry Henry claims Man City star has the ‘best brain I’ve ever seen’ in football

‘Second to none’ – Thierry Henry claims Man City star has the ‘best brain I’ve ever seen’ in football

Thierry Henry has played with Zinedine Zidane, Dennis Bergkamp and Lionel Messi, but reckons Kevin De Bruyne has the “best brain I’ve ever seen” in football.

De Bruyne second half strike for Manchester City in the Bernabeu earned them a 1-1 draw against Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

But Henry focused on De Bruyne’s football intelligence rather than his undoubted ability in his analysis of the midfielder, whom he worked with in his time as Belgium assistant manager.

Henry said: “I still think he’s the most important player in this team. I’ve come across a lot of players, played with a lot of players, saw a lot of players, played against some of the greatest. I think Kevin, his brain is the best I’ve ever seen, the way he sees the game.

“Because his brain is in some places, I don’t know what he thinks about sometimes, you look at him and it’s almost like he’s not with us because he’s that good.

“Sometimes it can be a problem because you’re not on his level, but I think he’s the most clever player I’ve seen in my life. It’s just second to none, the way he thinks. Because I saw him for six years on and off with Belgium, you love the man a bit more.

“Because I saw stuff he did in training and in games. He’s unbelievable. His brain, I’m still thinking about some stuff I’ve seen, he’s on a different planet and it wasn’t his best game tonight, but he delivered.”

Guardiola was full of praise for De Bruyne and Kyle Walker after Tuesday’s win, with Walker playing a key role against Vinicius Junior, despite the Brazilian cutting in and scoring a stunning opener.

Guardiola was also delighted with Ederson’s performance after the goalkeeper denied Karim Benzema with a smart save.

“Kevin knows how important he is for us,” said the City boss. “He made an incredible performance for many reasons and I’m happy for him.

“In this type of game in this type of competition – semi-finals and finals – you need your best players. Ederson and Kyle Walker were exceptional. In general, everyone was really good.”

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Video Thierry Henry on the genius of Kevin de Bruyne | UCL on CBS Sports