Manchester City playmaker Kevin de Bruyne believes his side will be labelled as failures again if they are eliminated by Real Madrid in the Champions League.
The reigning Premier League champions face Zinedine Zidane’s side in the last-16 in what is arguably the tie of the round, in what has become a high-stakes game for both sides.
Madrid have lost top spot in LaLiga following a draw against Celta de Vigo and defeat at Levante, following on from their Copa del Rey exit earlier this month.
However, City’s hopes of retaining their title are already over, given their 19-point gap to leaders Liverpool, leaving the Champions League as Pep Guardiola’s main priority – especially given their upcoming two-year ban from all European competition.
De Bruyne told reporters in England, as cited by Diario AS: “If we don’t win it everybody is going to say we are failures like the last five years!
“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.”
City’s best-ever performance in Europe’s elite competition was reaching the semi-finals of this competition four years ago, where they were eliminated by Madrid.
“It’s Madrid,” De Bruyne added. “They have won the most Champions Leagues out of everybody and are always formidable.
“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 and try to have a good game and, if we can, win.”