Kevin De Bruyne says Manchester City will be called ‘failures’ if they don’t win the Champions League, despite their recent domestic success.
Pep Guardiola’s side have struggled to transfer their domestic dominance onto the European stage in recent years, the club’s run to the semi-final stage four years ago the closest they have come to winning a maiden Champions League title.
Man City were defeated by Real Madrid over two legs on that occasion and the two sides meet once more in the last-16 of this season’s tournament, but despite the formidable reputation of their opponents in this competition, De Bruyne has urged his side to ‘try to play offensive football’.
“Obviously it’s Madrid. They have won the most Champions Leagues out of everybody,” the City midfielder told The Telegraph.
“But I think we will go there to try to play our game like we always do and try to play offensive football, try to put them under pressure, try to have a good game and, if we can, win.”
City travel to the Bernabeu for the first leg of a fascinating knock-out stage tie on Wednesday night, and De Bruyne believes perceptions of the club’s season will be based solely on their ability to progress to the latter stages of the Champions League.
“If we don’t win it [the Champions League] everybody is going to say we are failures like the last five years!” he added. “It’s something we’ve not won yet. We always want to win everything but sometimes another team is better or performing well – like Liverpool are doing this season.
“It’s just that way and you just have to admit it. But we will just go there to win that game. You can’t look too much forwards and see what’s going to happen.”