Dedryck Boyata won't let Brussels ties affect focus against Anderlecht

Dedryck Boyata will enjoy a family affair with no ties when Celtic come up against Anderlecht on Wednesday night.

Dedryck Boyata has many ties to Brussels but insists he won't let that affect his performance against Anderlecht. Picture: SNS Group
Dedryck Boyata has many ties to Brussels but insists he won't let that affect his performance against Anderlecht. Picture: SNS Group

The 26-year-old Hoops defender was born and raised in Brussels before joining Manchester City as a youngster in 2006.

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He will have some familiar faces watching him on his return with the Scottish champions, who face Anderlecht in their Champions League Group B game at the Constant Vanden Stock stadium, but he is desperate to take three points back to Glasgow.

Boyata with Eboue Kouassi during Celtic's final training session at Lennoxtown before flying to Belgium. Picture: PA

“It is my home town, I come from Brussels, I was born in Brussels but I am playing for Celtic,” said Boyata.

“I have nothing to do with Anderlecht so it is a Champions League game I’m thinking about like any Champions League game.

“It is different because I am playing against a club I have known since I was a young player but I will have the same focus for the game and that’s it.

Boyata with Eboue Kouassi during Celtic's final training session at Lennoxtown before flying to Belgium. Picture: PA

“I have loads of family, loads of friends coming tomorrow but I want to win the game not because they are in the stadium but because it is a Champions League game, a very important game for all the players.

“We have been working hard to get here and it is a great place to be. We know it is not going to be easy but of course we want to win the game.”

Boyata’s parents revealed in an interview with a Belgian publication that the defender had come close to joining Anderlecht as a kid.

His father Bienvenu revealed: “Dedryck had trials with Anderlecht, but they did not keep him. Later on they wanted to bring him back, but the clubs he then played for did not want to let him go.

“He went on to play for FC Brussels. Chelsea... Manchester City and Manchester United wanted to sign him, and City were the first to come in for him.

“He didn’t want me to speak with City’s people. But I ended up doing so, and I took him over to England.”