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Goal-scorer Kevin De Bruyne said the tragic death of former team-mate Junior Malanda had helped inspire Wolfsburg's 3-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund in Saturday's German Cup final.
Wolfsburg win was in memory of Malanda - De Bruyne 
05/31/2015
 

Goal-scorer Kevin De Bruyne said the tragic death of former team-mate Junior Malanda had helped inspire Wolfsburg's 3-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund in Saturday's German Cup final.


The junior Belgium international was killed in January in a road accident while en route to joining up with the Wolfsburg squad before their training camp in South Africa.


He was just 20 years old.


Attacking midfielder De Bruyne said Malanda was never far from his team-mates thoughts as Wolfsburg won the German Cup for the first time having qualified for the Champions League next season.


After scoring Wolfsburg's second goal in Berlin, De Bruyne kissed the Number 19 logo -- Malanda's squad number -- which has been printed in a heart on the club's playing shirts since his death.


"I think he helped us a lot in the second-half of the season, his memory played on with us and he will also be in my thoughts," said De Bruyne, who had attended Malanda's funeral with the senior Belgium squad.


Goals by De Bruyne, defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo and striker Bas Dost cancelled out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's early Dortmund goal as Wolfsburg ruined Jurgen Klopp's final game as Borussia head coach.


With his side leading 3-1 at the break, Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking said memories of Malanda had featured in his half-time team talk.


"He wasn't just a presence today, he has been with us for the whole of the second half of the season," said Hecking.


"I said in the break that we had the strength of a 12th man behind us and he played his part."

Source: AFP
 
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