The 25-year-old might have starred in comparable matches during his time in Belgium and Germany, but admits the game was “nerve-racking with a lot of emotion.”
“Luckily we won the game,” he says, as City take part in warm-weather training on the grounds of Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace.
“It’s not done yet but obviously a nice feeling to win in the end. Hopefully we can go through against Monaco and see what we can do after that.”
“We’ve only been in the Champions League for four, five years,” De Bruyne reflects.
“Obviously it’s something new in the beginning but the team is establishing itself more and more in Europe and last year to reach the semifinal was already good,” added the Belgium international, referring to City’s loss to Real Madrid last season.
“I think it’s getting better and better with the team every year.”
At the heart of City’s victory, and recent excellent form, has been reuniting De Bruyne with Spaniard David Silva in midfield.
“I think it’s going very good; at the beginning of the season we played there and it was going well,” De Bruyne says.
“After that we changed it a little bit and the manager wanted to see what was possible in the way the team could play and maybe evolve, but maybe it was not the right time for the team because everything was new for us,” he added,…