A Champions League win would “change the perspective” in terms of how Manchester City are regarded, according to Kevin De Bruyne.
The Premier League champions are chasing their first-ever Champions League trophy with their semi-final second leg against Real Madrid taking place on Wednesday.
City have won 13 major trophies since 2011 but glory in Europe’s elite club competition has eluded them. They made their maiden final last year when they were defeated 1-0 by Chelsea.
De Bruyne told a press conference ahead of Wednesday’s match in Madrid: “I think it (winning the competition) would change the perspective from outside.
“Obviously as a player you want to win the trophies, and you want to win this one. But I think the fact we’ve been fighting for numerous years and getting to the latter stages means that we’ve been doing really well.
“It’s a cup competition and the quality is very high so it’s very, very difficult to win it, and there’s different circumstances that happen.
“I think in the end if you look back at the way we performed, or I performed over seven years with the team, we did really well. But obviously we didn’t win it, and I think winning it would just change that little narrative.”
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The Belgium midfielder added: “I think we are in a very good way. Obviously the fact that we’ve not won it yet, I think that will probably be the only criticism we can get.
“I think for the rest, we’ve been there loads of times, and we’ve been always fighting to win this competition. So the consistency we have as a club has been amazing, I think pretty much as good as anybody else. But we just need to try to get over the line, and tomorrow is another step.”
In 2015/16, Real Madrid knocked City out in the last four. De Bruyne, who was in his first season with City at that point, said: “I’m thinking we’re in better shape now.
“I think I remember when we played that game, we didn’t have the greatest of end of seasons, and Madrid was the powerhouse at the time. I know we lost 1-0 in the end with an own-goal but I think it was a pretty boring game if I remember correctly.
“I think we’re in a different shape right now, I think we’re better set up as a team, we play better and I think we have more experience in this stage, so hopefully we’ll be better prepared.”
City beat Carlo Ancelotti’s men 4-3 in the first leg after an enthralling encounter at the Etihad last week.
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