27-year-old Manchester City star plays down Champions league aspirations

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Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has revealed that he does not believe failure in the Champions League constitutes a bad season.

Pep Guardiola’s side won the Premier League title last season and blew away the competition in the process, finishing 19 points ahead of second-placed rivals Manchester United. They also set a new three-digit points record and earned universal acclaim for their swashbuckling style of football which saw them score 106 goals over the course of the season.

In Europe however, it was a different matter. City fell at the quarterfinal stage to fellow English club Liverpool, losing 5-1 on aggregate and never really threatening to progress to the next stage. The manner in which the Red’s managed to overwhelm Pep’s team was unprecedented considering their success domestically and it showed that they were not quite yet the finished article.

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The expectation amongst supporters going into the 2018-19 campaign is that the club must now go all out to win their maiden Champions League title, which would represent the pinnacle of their achievements since emerging as a European superpower in the game over the last few years.

However, Belgian playmaker Kevin De Bruyne believes that their success shouldn’t be defined by how they perform in Europe alone, as he sat down with BBC Sport to discuss his illustrious career to date.

“I don’t agree that we have to win the Champions League to be a success. 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.” said the 27-year-old star.

“It is a different prospect, cup games are different to a league.”

He then went on to address Liverpool’s spending this summer, which he believes should be the catalyst for a title challenge for the Red’s.

“The other teams are always going to push us, Liverpool did what we did last year. They have spent a lot of money but wisely.” De Bruyne added.

“They saw that they had to up the level to come closer to us and we are trying to maintain what we have done last year.

“Now there are other teams in the Premier League who spend more than us, they have to do what they have to do to be better.”

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