Kevin De Bruyne: Pep Guardiola is constantly stressed as he pursues perfection

Kevin De Bruyne: Pep Guardiola is constantly stressed as he pursues perfection

"But the truth is that I only ever spoke to him twice".

Though De Bruyne admits his form was "not brilliant", the Belgian worldwide clearly felt it was worthy of a prolonged run in the Chelsea side.

Ten goals and 10 assists for Bremen after 34 matches had seen his stock rise, particularly in the Bundesliga, and despite returning to Chelsea, there was interest in him making a return to Germany if chances under Mourinho were to be limited.

"I really got to know Raheem, and I recognised what a smart and genuine person he is".

Sterling has received a lot of bad publicity in his career - much of it unjustified - and De Bruyne has admitted that it led him to form an opinion on the former Liverpool man before meeting him.

De Bruyne, then a 20-year-old, found himself competing with Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Brazilian worldwide Oscar for a spot in the attacking triumvirate behind the striker in Mourinho's preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

'Jose was just kind of waiting for me to say something, and finally I said, "But ... some of these guys have played 15, 20 games".

"Before I came to Manchester City, I didn't really know what to make of this Raheem Sterling guy", the Belgium midfielder wrote in a piece in The Players' Tribune.

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Somewhat surprisingly De Bruyne has actually played in 28 games so far this season, during which he has scored 5 goals and gained 7 assists. "So it's going to be different, no?"

'It was so unusual.

By contrast, Guardiola's troops have been brilliant recently as they have won their last eight consecutive Premier League games but enter the game on the back of a 1-0 Champions League quarter-final first leg defeat against Tottenham.

Guardiola's side have played a game fewer than the Merseyside club, however the Spaniard feels his side must be flawless in the run-in if they are to pip their rivals to the title.

He left for Wolfsburg in January 2014 before moving to City in 2015. I'm supposed to be this big footballer, and I didn't even have the heart to slide into my future wife's DMs! I was completely honest.

"This is such an embarrassing story that I hesitate to tell it, But since I promised you honesty, then I guess I have to".

From there, De Bruyne has never looked back.

"In the end, I should have just said "thank you". Chelsea got more than double the price they paid for me, and I got into a much better situation at Wolfsburg".

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