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30 May, 2021 15:55

‘A UFC injury in a football match’: Sickening Champions League final challenge leaves De Bruyne with fractured nose and eye socket

‘A UFC injury in a football match’: Sickening Champions League final challenge leaves De Bruyne with fractured nose and eye socket

Fans have likened Man City icon Kevin de Bruyne's Champions League final agony to the injuries usually seen etched on the faces of battered UFC fighters – and Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has voiced his sorrow over the horror.

Imposing De Bruyne suffered such excruciating pain that he had to leave the contest in the second half, sitting frustrated on the sidelines as he dabbed at blood and bruises after a collision with Germany international Rudiger.

Doctors spent several minutes trying to ease the horrendous damage, leading to an unusually long amount of extra time being played as City battled to avoid their narrow defeat without the help of arguably the Premier League's best midfielder.

Now brave De Bruyne has revealed the shocking full extent of the damage, which has an instant parallel with the shattered eye socket and cheekbone that forced boxer Billy Joe Saunders out of his fight with thunder-puncher Canelo Alvarez and into hospital earlier this month.

"Hi guys, just got back from the hospital," the Belgium dynamo told his millions of followers the day after City ended their season in painful fashion by losing the final 1-0 in Porto.

"My diagnosis is acute nose bone fracture and left orbital fracture. I feel okay now. Still disappointed about yesterday, obviously, but we will be back."

UFC fighters are usually kept from competing again for several months after enduring orbital fractures.

Former title challenger Tony Ferguson absorbed perhaps the most high-profile example of the injury in his defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov victim Justin Gaethje at UFC 249 last year, which is usually attributed to broken bones around the eye caused by blunt trauma.

Ferguson eventually returned more than seven months later, and Saunders' promoter, Eddie Hearn, admitted he expected the  previously unbeaten Brit to be out for a "long, long time" after he copped a full-blooded hammer blow straight to the eye from feared puncher Canelo.

A hugely important player for Belgium, De Bruyne will be desperate to be able to play at Euro 2020, which starts in less than two weeks' time.

Doctors could clear him to do that with a face mask of the kind that Rudiger himself was wearing to protect a facial injury in the final when he made his brutal block on the 29-year-old.

"I'm really sorry for [De Bruyne's] injury," said Rudiger, tagging the City star into his social media post before receiving more accusations that he had been ordered to dish out the kind of rough treatment seen from the likes of Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos towards Liverpool striker Mo Salah in previous finals.

"Of course this was not intentional from me – I've already been in touch with Kevin personally and I really wish him a speedy recovery and hope we can see him back on the pitch very soon again."

MMA enthusiasts spotted the similarities between De Bruyne's ordeal and the spoils of war in the octagon.

"Kevin De Bruyne had a UFC injury in a football match," wrote one, while another said: "De Bruyne’s eye looks like he just ended a UFC fight."

Chelsea's official account, which has changed its title to 'Champions of Europe', replied to De Bruyne: "Wishing you a speedy recovery."

Also on rt.com Chelsea defender Rudiger accused of 'dirty' tactics in brutal collision which forces De Bruyne out of UCL final in tears