Guardiola reckons Man City must win all remaining fixtures to regain title

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More recent attention has centred on his campaigning against racial abuse and his star performances in City's push for a second successive Premier League title.

Kevin De Bruyne's path to becoming one of the best footballers in the world could have been so different if it wasn't for the stubbornness of Jose Mourinho.

"I had never met him, and from what I'd read about him..." The plan was always for me to go on loan for a bit'. I want to play football. A text from Mourinho informed him he was part of his plans for the season.

"So I thought, OK, great".

"In two seasons we've got 83 points with five games left. Zero goals. Ten recoveries".

"It took me a minute to understand what he was doing", De Bruyne wrote. Then he started reading the stats of the other attacking forwards - Willian, Oscar, Mata, Schürrle.

"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. So it's going to be different, no?"

"It was so unusual". I said: "I feel like the club doesn't really want me here".

Coupled with his form on the pitch the England global is one of the leading candidates for this year's Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year Award. "I'd rather you sell me'".

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De Bruyne assisted the first of the attacker's two goals in Sunday's 3-1 win at Crystal Palace and revealed their "strong connection" extends beyond the pitch.

Pep Guardiola is confident Manchester City will reach the semi-finals of this year's Champions League at the expense of Tottenham.

Despite the pressure applied by Liverpool's plucky challenge to the champions' domestic crown, City have consistently maintained their objective with arguably the highest technical level of football in Europe this season.

"It's because of who you are", De Bruyne's mother told him. They can't interact with you. "The injuries and the matches that I've missed have been extremely hard for me, mentally", he said.

De Bruyne said: "I kicked the ball against the fence for hours, and I remember at some point I actually said out loud, 'Everything is going to be OK".

"I think they have been very lucky in the past one or two months. No matter what, I am not coming back home a failure'".

"I really got to know Raheem, and I recognised what a smart and genuine person he is". So I said, 'No.

De Bruyne confirmed that the erstwhile manager was ruthless in his approach when dispensing with the midfielder.

"In the end, I should have just said "thank you".

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