You cannot compare Man City to United & Liverpool, says De Bruyne

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The Belgium international admits his side have not forged the same memories in Europe as their close rivals in England

Kevin De Bruyne acknowledges Manchester City do not have a European pedigree to compare with the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool, but he wants the chance to write a fresh chapter in Champions League history for the Premier League club.

Belgium midfielder De Bruyne netted the winner against Paris Saint-Germain last season as City reached the semi-finals of Europe's leading competition for the first time, where they fell to eventual winners Real Madrid.

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Ligue 1 opposition stand in their way at the last-16 stage this time around, with Monaco visiting the Etihad Stadium for a keenly anticipated clash on Tuesday, and De Bruyne knows it is the sort of tie Pep Guardiola's side must negotiate if they are to be spoken of in the same breath as English football's traditional north-west heavyweights.

Kevin de Bruyne Manchester City 10092016

"People talk about teams like Man United and Liverpool, with the history they have," said the 25-year-old, who remains City's record signing in the Sheikh Mansour era.

"Obviously they are great teams and you cannot compare us to them because we didn't have the time that they've had already for doing what they did in the Champions League.

"They've been there for multiple years and we've only been there for five or six years. We need the same amount of time to compare to them in the Champions League.

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"For me [history means] nothing, but for a lot of people in the world it means everything. That's why people are talking about Man City a little bit less than they do the other teams.

"Everybody in England will be very proud about the English teams achieving a lot in Europe, but we also want the chance to try that.

"If we do it for another 50 years and then we have a couple of Champions Leagues, people will maybe also look differently at us."

Bournemouth Manchester City Sterling De Bruyne

De Bryune's debut season at City last term was a prolific one, yielding 16 goals in all competitions.

He only has five in 32 appearances this time around, but, operating in a slightly deeper role under Guardiola's stewardship, the former Wolfsburg man believes his all-round game has improved.

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"To be fair I'm very happy," he said. "I think I'm playing a little bit more defensively than I was earlier in the season, but we also changed a lot of positions for me personally.

"I know people look at statistics, but I think I am playing better than last year. Maybe statistically I'm a little bit less, but as a player for the team I am doing better.

"It's not a problem at all. I never look at my stats.  I can see very well how I am playing for the team. We are winning games without me scoring and, in the end, if we can have a title then I will be very happy."

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