Psychologist explains why Manchester City midfielder has such exceptional assist

Why does Kevin De Bruyne have such exceptional vision and passing? A fascinating Twitter thread attempted to answer this question.

Football psychology researcher Geir Jordet studied De Bruyne throughout the first leg at the Etihad and explained why the midfielder possesses such quality in midfield.

Jordet, a professor at the Norwegian School of Sports Science, presented his findings in a Twitter thread, which has now gone viral.

“Kevin De Bruyne has an extraordinary awareness and ability to achieve decisive goals and assists,” wrote Jordet, who did his doctorate on the role of vision, perception and anticipation in high performance. level.

According to Jordet, De Bruyne is able to take advantage of his opponents by continuously scanning the game at a higher rate than the average midfielder.

“De Bruyne scans the pitch before receiving the ball with a rate of 0.45 scans/second, so 4-5 scans every 10 seconds. It’s high for a player in his role. He constantly exposes his eyes to surrounding information and becomes aware of opportunities and threats early on,” Jordet wrote.

“Players generally scan when there is a lot of space around them, and less when they are in tight spaces. This is not the case with De Bruyne who maintains his scan rate even when opponents are close.Makes him effective in crowded areas where assists and goals are created.

Jordet added: “De Bruyne’s sweeping timing is perfect. He takes his eyes off the ball when nothing new is happening with it. Every time someone touches the ball, and it’s important to quickly spot a new direction or ball rhythm, they are looking at the ball.

De Bruyne also varies the length of time he looks away from the ball depending on the game situation, and is even able to disguise his sweep of opposing players.

“When De Bruyne is lower on the pitch, he uses LONG sweeps looking away from the ball for 1 second or more before directing his eyes to the ball. This allows it to pick up more detailed and complex information located farther away,” added Jordet.

“In low-pressure conditions, De Bruyne uses SEQUENTIAL swipes to literally scan his eyes all over the pitch. This gives him a more panoramic view of the attacking half and helps him prepare for those creative mid-range passes. and murderous for which he is known.

“When a situation requires precise and disguised perception, De Bruyne engages in subtle but very frequent micro-scans. Here, he only moves his eyes back and forth, to effectively analyze a selected area, without revealing his intentions to opponents.

“CRITICAL scans are made while the ball is on its way to you. De Bruyne makes these scans extremely late, often looking away from the ball as he is receiving it. This allows him to execute passes with fully updated information about his teammates and opponents.

“De Bruyne knows when he doesn’t know what’s around him, and he acts accordingly. When he receives the ball without having scanned it, it can mean that the opponents are close, so he instantly returns the ball to where it came from, using his first touch.

“Kevin De Bruyne’s scan is flexible, timely and intelligently adapted to each situation. Digitization does not sufficiently explain his vision, but it is a necessary foundation for it.

De Bruyne has now scored 14 goals and provided eight assists in all competitions this season.

He will no doubt be hoping to add to that tally when City return against Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday.

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