Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has followed in Inter Miami star Lionel Messi’s footsteps by gifting teammates custom platinum iPhones after the squad won the treble last season. De Bruyne spent about £130,000 on the lavish gifts for players, manager Pep Guardiola and owner Sheikh Mansour.
Earlier this year, Messi spent about £185,000 to buy 35 personalized gold iPhones from the same company, iDesign Gold, for his Argentina World Cup-winning team and staff members.
De Bruyne gave his pals the gifts during a get-together Thursday night before facing Burnley to start the 2023-24 Premier League season. Each iPhone 14 carried custom engraving with the person’s name and club logo etched into the case.
Unfortunately for De Bruyne, he watched much of Manchester City’s Champions League final win over Inter from the dressing room after he injured his hamstring. He appreciated his teammates for finishing the job against the Italian club — and the phones are a sign of his thanks. “It’s a shame it went the way it did for me but we go away winning the Champions League so there’s nothing bad towards it,” he said.
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During Manchester City’s domestic title charge, De Bruyne racked up 16 Premier League assists to take his career tally in the division to 101. The playmaker also assisted 12 times in other competitions as he formed a dynamic partnership with striker Erling Haaland.
“I know that when Kevin De Bruyne has the ball, I have to be on the opposite side in the right place and at the right time for him to play the ball into my course with a sharp cross,” Haaland said. “You can train to anticipate what your teammates will do, and to know what to do when they have the ball in a certain spot of the pitch. It also comes a bit down to myself. I’m training it, but it is also an instinct that I’m born with.”
Messi has similarly been generous with his passing while giving teammates plenty to smile about with his off-field gift-giving. The Argentina World Cup winner provided three assists in Qatar. He set up 16 goals in Ligue 1 for Paris Saint-Germain before his contract expired this summer.
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Despite offers from Barcelona and the Saudi Pro League, Messi decided to come to the United States to join Inter Miami. So far, the move has been dream-like, as he’s dominated opponents in the Leagues Cup.
“Leo’s leadership on and off the pitch has been notable in recent years,” said Inter Miami manager Gerardo Martino. “I’m thinking about what he did in the World Cup because that reflects the kind of leader he has become.
“It’s totally different from the first years of his career when he only led from the football side. Today he has an impact on the field as always, but also in training, in talks with the young players of the team, and in how to execute an idea for the team.”
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