Kevin De Bruyne admits he “can’t stand to lose”, with an insatiable desire to be the best providing his motivation at Manchester City and in a role as a competitive dad with his wife and son.
The 27-year-old has grown accustomed to winning over the course of a distinguished professional career which has carried him to the very top of the game.
More major honours are being chased down in 2018-19, with De Bruyne revealing that he cannot bring himself to allow his standards to dip both on a football field and at home.
He told Sky Sports when asked what drives him forward: “Winning. I can't stand to lose.
“Even at home, playing board games with the missus, the son, whatever, I can't lose against them.
“It's just the way I am. It just drives me to keep going and to become probably the best I can be in football.”
De Bruyne has endured an injury-hit fourth season at the Etihad Stadium, restricting him to just 11 appearances to date.
He has, however, learned down the years how to cope with any kind of adversity, with mental strength and a willingness to work hard having helped to carry him from humble beginnings to global superstardom.
“Yes, you need to have talent, but hard work is the biggest part,” De Bruyne said ahead of a Premier League meeting with Wolves on Monday.
“The differences between players at this level is so minimal. A few changes can make a big difference in the end.
“We won by 19 points last season but won a lot of games last minute. That's the most important thing, to keep going and keep going. In the end, it's more about being mentally fit rather than physically. There is no rest for us.
“After a busy year like last year you have two to three weeks then have to come back, there is no time to get your mental or physical rest. You need to be very strict with what you're doing as a player and the way you live your life.
“A lot of people can have talent but they let it go to waste. I left home when I was 14 years old to play football and I saw a lot of people who didn't make it, but through my determination, it paid off in the end.”
De Bruyne’s desire to lead from the front saw him left disappointed to be hauled off during City’s recent 9-0 Carabao Cup drubbing of Burton Albion, but Pep Guardiola has sought to play down any suggestion of a rift forming inside the Blues camp.
He has said: "If he has a problem he knows where I am, so I don't know, really. I didn't speak with him so that one time I cannot say what he thinks because I don't know."