Kevin De Bruyne previews his club's biggest game of the season so far ahead of the Champions League semi-final second leg away at the Bernabeu. The in-form Belgian maestro talks about how he himself is feeling, how City have progressed and what it would mean to win the competition.
How are you?
"Fresh is always debatable at the end of the season but I feel good. Lots of kicks vs Atletico [Madrid] but I'm good."
"You can tell me [if you think that I'm back to my best]. The first months were really hard, I've never experienced the pain I had, I was trying to come back but it wasn't something I enjoyed. Mentally it was hard to overcome. Once the pain was gone I started to feel more confident in myself, my body to get back to where I belong. Now playing all these games I feel back to the level I was before. I try to be as constant as I can and this year I've done that."
"Two attacking teams, it will be a different game tomorrow than the first leg."
"I'm thinking we're in better shape now [than the Champions League semi-final vs Real Madrid in 2016], I remember that game we didn't have the best end to the season, Madrid were the powerhouse. We lost 1-0 in the end with an own goal, it was a really boring game. We're in a better set up now, we play better, we have more experience."
"No matter the game we're well prepared anyway, if it's the cup against lower league opposition it's the same detail. It's easier to watch a big game on the TV than someone in lower leagues. There's more people speaking about this game which is normal but it's the same level of detail."
"He helped me progress in various ways but it's hard to say if I'd be like this with other managers. He's been amazing for us to get success but the players work hard to achieve that [also]. If we don't listen or work hard we won't get better. It's a combination, he's a manager that plays the way I like to play which helps. He doesn't look on individual basis, it's what suits for the team. I've played mostly the same position but in different ways, lower, higher, in the middle. Whatever the team needs I try to help in ways I can do."
Champions League in general:
"It would change the perspective from outside [if we won it]. As a player you always want to win trophies. We've been fighting for it numerous years, we've been doing really well. It's tough and high quality so hard to win. If you look back on how we've performed we've done well."
"For myself it doesn't change the perspective I look on myself. I know what I've done good or bad. I want to win every trophy that I can get. It's a hard task but I'd love to win the Champions League."
"We're in a good way [in Europe]. The fact we haven't won it yet is the only criticism. The rest we've been there loads and always fighting to win. The consistency has been amazing, as good as anyone else. Just try to get over the line. Tomorrow is another step."
"He's been amazing, I've seen him from a little boy. He's got massive potential, whenever you come to the first team you're shy and need time and game time to get comfortable. The last few years he's comfortable and you see how he plays. He's not that young talent [anymore], he's one of the guys. It's a big step to make, he can make the difference. He's proven it loads of times and he will do much more for this club in the future. If you're playing well constantly that's all you can do."
Giving the penalty to Gabriel Jesus for his hat-trick vs Watford:
"I don't care in that moment, I thought it was the right decision for him to take so I gave it. For him it's important, for me I don't care. It doesn't get me further in what I want, for him a hat-trick is special and important for a striker. It was a good moment to give it to him and he was playing great. Since he came here, I've had a good relationship with him, he plays with so much energy. I've never any doubts on his quality. He's still so young, I hope he can play many times with me because he makes us better."
Luka Madrid said Real Madrid are 'best in the world':
"If we play how we played last [week] we we have the potential to be one of the best [in the world], we have to do it tomorrow. If we're anything low that, they can win because they're also one of the best. I back my team to perform at the high level necessary to win that game. Everyone wants to see the game, it will be a great game. We'll try to get the best out of ourselves and hopefully progress to Paris."
Written by: @coIgcra
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