Man City ace Kevin De Bruyne was destined to become a star - Clarets midfielder Defour

Clarets midfielder Steven Defour sensed that his compatriot Kevin De Bruyne would become a star attraction from the moment the pair were first introduced at an early age.

The Belgium internationals, who will go head-to-head at the Etihad Stadium, once shared a 'foster' home in Genk as they attempted to carve a career out in football at "het Fenixstadion".

Kevin De Bruyne in action for Man City against Brighton

Kevin De Bruyne in action for Man City against Brighton

Arriving as teenagers, with Defour switching from his hometown Mechelen and De Bruyne passing through the capital when transferring from Gent, the two would sit down and fight it out on the Playstation while balancing homework with football.

The 2007 Belgian Golden Shoe winner, now in his second season at Turf Moor, moved to the Limburg province as a 16-year-old before his 'foster' brother set up home in the same accommodation a year later.

“We’ve known each other since we were at a foster family in Genk," said Defour. "They worked for the club. I was at my last year at school and Kevin just arrived.

"There were eight of us I think in one house. Then two would go away when they were 18 to live in an apartment and I did that too after a year.

Steven Defour is enjoying life at Turf Moor

Steven Defour is enjoying life at Turf Moor

“He was quiet, a good guy, who wanted to play football. We were always playing on the PlayStation or football outside. I was going into the first team so I was away a lot and he was with the other kids.”

Defour added: “He really knew what he wanted at that point. He knew he wanted to be a professional player. You could see when you were talking to him. He just wanted to play football and prove it.

“Even then, he could see things way faster than anyone else, so he could argue with the coach.

"Not really arguing, but if the coach said ‘you have to play the ball right’ he would say 'no' if he could see a better option because he was so ahead of his team-mates.

“We knew he was good. What struck me about him was right foot, left foot, they were basically the same, which was a remarkable for a boy of that age.

“He has a lot of character and when it is not going the way he wants, he will tell you. But he’s not a guy who will talk all the time. It’s just when he wants to say something he will say it.”

De Bruyne is certainly doing his talking on the pitch this term having enjoyed a phenomenal start to the campaign.

The former Chelsea midfielder has been instrumental in City's impressive opening as they sit at the summit of the Premier League after eight games and Defour knows they'll have to stop him if they're to negate their opponents.

Defour has never come out on top on the occasions that he's faced De Bruyne with the duo sharing the same pitch on three occasions in the Belgian Jupiler League.

De Bruyne netted the winner as Genk beat Standard Liege in February 2010 and they triumphed again later that year when Jelle Vossen scored in a 4-2 victory. In May 2011 the pair also played in a 1-1 draw in the Championship play-offs.

And De Bruyne featured in both games in the top flight last season as City took maximum points from the respective fixtures with 2-1 wins.

"He’s playing a little bit lower now so he fetches a lot more balls than last year," Defour said. "He’s starting all their attacks, he’s orchestrating the Man City team.

"He is performing good. He’s really down to earth. You can see the way he plays, he’s so relaxed.

"If it’s not going the way he wants to, he gets a bit angry, for the rest, he’s a really relaxed character who wants to play football. We’re going to have to shut him down and Silva and Sane, and the whole team.

“It is the biggest league in the world and you have to be at your best every week otherwise you will get punished. Because anyone can beat anyone and that’s what makes it the best league.

"We have nothing to lose, that’s for sure. Everybody is thinking Man City are going to win so we can go there and give our best. We have enough confidence to confront them."