Kevin De Bruyne insists Manchester City winning the Champions League will change ‘the little narrative’ around the club’s success under Pep Guardiola and end the criticism they get for not winning Europe’s top prize
- Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne spoke ahead of Real Madrid second leg
- The Champions League trophy has eluded the club after losing last year’s final
- City have a one-goal lead from last week’s thriller heading into the Bernabeu tie
Winning the Champions League would change ‘the narrative’ around Manchester City’s success under Pep Guardiola, according to Kevin De Bruyne.
City head to Spain this afternoon possessing a one-goal lead from last week’s thriller ahead of Wednesday’s second leg of their semi-final with Real Madrid.
Victory in the Bernabeu would seal consecutive finals for the Premier League champions and De Bruyne believes the team are ready to go all the way.
Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne spoke ahead of their second leg against Real Madrid
‘I think winning it would change the perspective from outside,’ De Bruyne said. ‘The fact we’ve been fighting for numerous years and getting to the latter stages means we’ve been doing really well.
‘We’ve not won it yet and that will probably be the only criticism we can get. Winning it would change that little narrative.’
City met Real in the 2016 semi-final but were limp in the Spanish capital, losing 1-0. Guardiola then oversaw exits in the last-16 and quarter-finals in his first four years in charge before last season’s run to the final.
‘As a player you want to win trophies and we want to win this one,’ De Bruyne added. ‘It’s a cup competition and the quality is very high so it’s very difficult to win it but in the end if you look back at the way we performed over the years we have done really well.
‘We’ve been there loads of times and always fighting to win this competition so the consistency that we’ve had has been amazing – pretty much as good as everybody else. We just need to try to get over the line. Tomorrow is another step.
‘If we are a little bit below that there is the possibility that Madrid can win this game because they are also one of the best teams in the world. The quality they have is amazing.
Manchester City looked to have Real Madrid on the ropes in the opening period of the first leg last week and perhaps felt as though they could have all but ended the tie as a contest
‘I back my team to perform at the level that is necessary to win that game tomorrow. We will try to get the best out of ourselves to do a good showing and hopefully progress to Paris.’
City were handed a boost with Kyle Walker among the travelling party to ease their defensive issues, although John Stones remains sidelined.
Guardiola insisted that he will leave a decision on Walker’s possible inclusion as late as possible and claimed they can take something from previous experiences in the competition.
‘You’re talking about experience and the question is what you learn,’ Guardiola said. ‘You could make the same mistakes! Every game is completely different.
‘The fact that we’ve been there quite often, in these big games and scenarios, means yes, we have been there. It helps but it is no guarantee. They know we have to perform well.
‘Probably we’ll have to play better than last week. But let me tell you: we can play much, much worse than we played last week and still win. Nobody can deny that my assessment is right. Sometimes you get things you don’t deserve. In these stages you have to perform.’
City given a boost with Kyle Walker among the travelling party to ease their defensive issues