Kevin De Bruyne insists he does not give much thought to being rejected by Jose Mourinho and thinks his difficult time at Chelsea was a useful learning curve.
De Bruyne has been a revelation since returning to the Premier League with Manchester City in 2015 and has been the driving force behind his side's charge towards the Premier League title this season.
City will win the league if they beat Mourinho's Manchester United in the derby clash at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, but defeating his old boss adds little extra motivation for the 26-year-old.
"I really don't care," said De Bruyne. "It's just part of football – it goes up and down. In the 10 years I've been playing, nine-and-a-half years have been up and a half-year has been a bit down.
"I can be really happy with the way it's gone because a lot of people go up and down, up and down. I've had the feeling that gradually I've got better and better.
"That was an experience where I learned maybe the most out of how football goes, how I go with the situation. I was only 21 at the time – no one is going to play all the time at that age. If I see the amount of games I've played in my career, it's a lot, so I'm happy."
De Bruyne is a leading candidate to win the PFA Player of the Year award, along with Liverpool star Mohamed Salah, who also failed to convince Mourinho during his short spell at Chelsea.
The midfielder thinks both he and Egypt star Salah have simply benefited from playing in teams where their abilities are more suitable.
"Everyone needs to find a system and playing style that suits," he said. "Probably now we've found somebody who suits us both more than it was before. In both our cases that's true but that's the same for a lot of players. It's just because it's the same manager and it's both of us in the same season who are going well that people are talking about it.
"But every manager will have had a lot of players who were not suited with each other, who went away and did well. I'm not really that type of person who thinks about that. It's just the way it goes, in life, in football."
The reverse fixture in December, a 2-1 win for City at Old Trafford, was followed by an argument between Mourinho and the visiting players as the United manager was apparently incensed at music being played too loud in the dressing room.
Mourinho was said to consider City's behaviour as a lack of respect, but De Bruyne says there will not be any changes after the game on Saturday.
"The volume is always up," he added. "It's our way to prepare for games, the music is on before the game and after, so it's not like, because we won, we're going to change, it's just because it's the thing we do, it's the thing that gets us relaxed, maybe.
"Some teams don't do music but a lot of teams I've played in have. Obviously, the dressing rooms are mostly close to each other but it's not to mock anybody.
"You have to [accept] it – if you lose, you lose. You have [to accept] people mock you, that people do things on social media, say things about you. We put music on for us, not to do anything bad to other people.
"It's our thing to relax and have fun and if people take it that it's bad [towards] them, I'm sorry but it's just for us. In the end, it's just the way it is, because lot of teams put music on and we hear it also, so I don't think it's disrespectful."