Kevin De Bruyne says Manchester City are not thinking about ‘the treble’ ahead of their date with destiny in the Champions League final, but simply winning the trophy.
The Premier League champions and FA Cup winners can become just the second English team to achieve the incredible feat if they beat Inter Milan at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul.
However, speaking ahead of the game, playmaker De Bruyne says the players are focused more on winning Europe’s premier club competition for the first time in their history.
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“I see it as winning the Champions League,” he said at City’s pre-final media day. “We’re in the final so we know if we win the final it is a treble. But it’s winning that competition, and then the consequences after if you win it then you have the treble.”
De Bruyne joined the club in 2015 and has become one of the most highly rated footballers in Europe during that time.
As part of City’s all-conquering team, the Belgian has lifted five Premier League tiles as well as seven League Cups and FA Cups combined.
However, he is well aware of the fact the Champions League is considered something of a holy grail, and only winning will truly enshrine their status as an elite club.
“We’ve not won it yet,” he warned. “So as long as we don’t win it, these questions are going to come back every year. But we’ve been so consistent, even if we’ve not won it, in the eight years I’ve been here we’ve reached finals, semi-finals, quarter-finals, so we’ve always been in the top eight, top four in the Champions League.
“We’ve just not won it yet, and that’s the only thing we want to change.”
Opponents Inter have won the competition three times in their history but go into the match as underdogs.
However, De Bruyne refuses to take the Serie A side for granted and believes they are in final on merit and capable of causing an upset if City don’t retain their focus.
“I expect a pretty tough game,” he admitted. They’re very solid and they’re very good players.
“I know people are saying that we’re fully favourites and if we don’t win, a lot will [be] said. But I think you don’t become a Champions League finalist by doing easy stuff. Will they play some antics? Maybe, it happens, but everybody will do everything they can to win their game.
“I don’t feel like we are necessarily a team who plays that way, but if it happens we’ll try and control what we can control, and control the emotions of everybody in the game and that will suit us better if we’re calmer.”
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