Kevin De Bruyne is arguably the best player in the Premier League. And it’s no coincidence that he runs the midfield for the league’s best club, Manchester City. But while fans are eager to see what Pep Guardiola’s side can do in the Champions League, KDB doesn’t worry about that.
He’s not going to associate that competition with their success at all.
“I don’t agree that we have to win the Champions League to be a success,” he said via theScore’s Agence France-Presse.
Fans have a couple off issues with Pep, the manager. Often citing who he manages, they think anyone is capable is winning with the world’s best players. Whether it be Barcelona, Bayern or City, Pep hasn’t really had a bad gig. It’s a bit more complicated than that, of course, but that’s never stopped a narrative before. More than that, though, they cannot understand how Bayern or City didn’t and haven’t won the Champions League under him.
This just in: it’s a pretty difficult competition to win.
It’s not like sides go up against awful clubs once you get into the knockout rounds. Real Madrid winning three in a row will likely never happen again. One cannot simply just snap their fingers and win a UCL trophy. That’s not how it works. Make no mistake, De Bruyne isn’t necessarily downplaying it. He just understands the difference between that and the league.
“It is a big title to win but in the Champions League you don’t need to have the consistency that you need in the league. … We were great for the whole year, maybe a bit less against Liverpool, and so we were out. In the league if you have a bad spell then you are running behind,” he adds.
De Bruyne is exactly right. City took the Premier League last season by a whopping 19 points over Manchester United. Maybe Liverpool – who finished 25 points off the pace — close the gap a little this season, but it’s hard to say. For that to happen, City have to fall off quite a bit.
Pep struck out in his first season in charge of the Citizens, but that’s long behind us now. They’re at the top, and it’s likely to stay that way. De Bruyne is a big reason why that’s the case. After notching six goals and 21 assists during the 2016/17 season, he put up eight goals and 16 assists last season.