Kevin De Bruyne's match worn Nike Phantom VSN
Player name: Kevin De Bruyne
Clubs: KVV Drongen, Gent, Genk, Chelsea, Werder Bremen, Wolfsburg, Manchester City
Position: Attacking midfielder
Height: 5 ft 11 in
Kevin De Bruyne is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Premier League club Manchester City and the Belgian national team. Recognised for his passing, dribbling, tackling and shooting ability, his playing style has frequently led to the media, coaches, and colleagues ranking him among the best players in the world, and he has often been described as a "complete" footballer.
De Bruyne began his career at Genk, where he was a regular player when they won the 2010–11 Belgian Pro League. In 2012, he joined English club Chelsea, where he was used sparingly and then loaned to Werder Bremen. He signed with Wolfsburg for £18 million in 2014, and in 2015 he was named Footballer of the Year in Germany.
Later that year, he joined Manchester City for a club record £54 million. In four seasons with City, De Bruyne has appeared in over 170 matches and won two Premier League titles, three League Cups and one FA Cup. He had a significant role in City's quest to become the first Premier League team to attain 100 points in a single season in the 2017–18. Additionally, De Bruyne has been named Manchester City's Player of the Year, twice, in 2016 and 2018.
Here we have managed to acquire a pair of KDB's match worn Nike Phantom VSN football boots from the "New Lights" pack. This pair were heavily worn by the player during the current 2019-20 season for Manchester City FC and the Belgium national team, and the condition of the pair reflects that, showing amazing signs of wear.
De Bruyne wore the "New Lights" pack throughout most of the first half of the 2019-20 season, regularly switching between Fg and SG-Pro soleplates - we have received his FG pair.
One thing that can be truly amazing about match worn boots from the world's elite players seems to be that no matter how much they wear a single pair, the FG studs on the soleplate never seem to wear much - just discolour. Above we can see the sole from De Bruyne's Phantom VSN's, which have been worn countless times by the player, with the upper showing lots of wear and tear. The soleplate however has some marks and scratches with some discolouring, with minor wear to the studs themselves. This is due to the sheer perfection of the pitches in which they were played on. If they were used on a regular pitch on a Sunday morning, the studs would be all worn down, cut up and out of shape after the same amount of wear.
Nike have personalised this pair for KDB by adding the national flag of his country, Belgium, whilst also adding the names of his children with their DOB's. Touches like this are simply unavailable to the public, some stores such as Pro-Direct Soccer offer initials and flags on retail pairs, but not in this font or position on the boot. Contracted pro's can get as little or as much personalisation on their boots as they like, with most opting for family names, whilst some like to add things such as religious quotes - take Romelu Lukaku for example.
With De Bruyne being one of the world's very best, Nike tailor make his boots in their famous Montebelluna factory located in Italy. Here, they are made to the players' exact specifications and requirements. Above we can see the Montebelluna logo on the left insole, with the Nike swoosh and "Made in Italy" on the right. Due to the amount KDB wore this pair, the printing on the insoles has faded considerably, however is still slightly visible.
The insoles of this pair are considerably thicker than what you will find in a retail pair, with the top layer material being suede. In the above image of KDB's insoles we can see how much the suede has been worn down,
With the boots being made so precisely to KDB's exact measurements, it appears the Dynamic Fit Collar of the right boot has been made slightly lower than that of the left boot. Differences like these are common with elite players' boots, due to them being completely tailor made. In the above image we can also see how much wear there has been due to the discoloration to the FlyKnit material.
KDB can be seen above wearing this pair during training sessions at Manchester City’s state of the art “Etihad Campus” training ground
The inside of each boot has been lined with a thick black padded material from the midfoot area forwards. Here we can also see KDB's custom ID number written inside by the craftsmen in Nike's Montebelluna factory. When Nike make a pair of players' boots here, they dont tend to add size tags due to their custom nature, instead, they add the players' custom ID number like we see above.
Did you know, De Bruyne made his full international debut in 2010, and he has since earned 74 caps and scored 19 goals for Belgium. He was a member of the Belgian squads that reached the quarter-finals both at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and at UEFA Euro 2016. In 2018 he represented Belgium at the FIFA World Cup, winning the third place play-off match against England.
KDB can be seen wearing this exact pair above for Manchester City in the Premier League fixture vs AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on the 28th August 2019. De Bruyne assisted Sergio Aguero's opening goal in City's 2-1 win in this match.
De Bruyne is currently top of the assists leader board in the Premier League with 12, 4 ahead of Liverpool's Alexander-Arnold in second place who has 8. KDB has also registered 7 goals, which totals 19 direct goal involvements in just 20 game, and we are only half way through the season. World class.
Incidentally, we also have Raheem Sterling's Nike Phantom Venom's which were also worn during the 2-1 win over AFC Bournemouth, in which Raheem scored the winner.
Both of these pairs were worn in multiple matches & training sessions throughout the first half of the 2019-20 season both for Manchester City and their national teams, with both pairs being hand made to their exact specifications in Nike's Montebelluna factory in Italy.
Read our full article on Raheem's pair for more details on those, or click the link to the product page at the end of this article.
KDB above during Manchester City’s 8-0 thrashing of Watford during the Premier League fixture at the Etihad Stadium on the 21st of September 2019. Despite Bernardo Silva’s hat trick, De Bruyne was named man of the match after performing a mesmeric display scoring City’s 8th goal and assisting David Silva’s goal.
Here we can see how worn the instep areas are on each boot, with the slight discolouration to the FlyKnit material, Dynamic Fit Collar and some marks from in match battles. Due to the inch perfect elite pitches in which top professionals such as KDB play on, the uppers of boots can discolour, especially with the majority of boots today being made from a knitted material. We see this all the time with pro's most noticeably when wearing white boots, they tend to go a sort of green/yellow tint due to the wet but non-muddy grass playing surfaces.
Above, we can see an on-foot close up of KDB wearing this pair during a Premier League match for Manchester City, with the personalisation to the heel area and the FG soleplate variation.
This pair are a true piece of sporting memorabilia, a gem for any collection, with them being bespoke made for and heavily worn by one of THE best midfield players in world football, not just with talent, but the stats to back him up also.