De Bruyne asked if Pep has made him a better player

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Kevin De Bruyne would prefer not to give a definitive answer to questions of whether he has improved while working under the guidance of Pep Guardiola, with the Manchester City talisman choosing to deliver a “maybe yes, maybe no” response.

The Belgium international midfielder has starred during the reign of the Catalan coach at the Etihad Stadium, with three Premier League titles and four League Cup triumphs complemented by back-to-back PFA Player of the Year successes.

De Bruyne has taken in over 250 appearances as Guardiola calls the shots, enhancing his reputation as one of the finest creative talents on the planet, but the 30-year-old remains reluctant to be drawn on whether he is a better player now than he was in 2016.

Has Guardiola made De Bruyne a better player?

When that question was put to the talented Belgian ahead of a Champions League semi-final second-leg clash with Real Madrid, De Bruyne said: “It's hard to tell. Maybe yes, maybe no.

“Obviously he has helped me to progress in various ways but it's hard to say I would or would not be like this with other managers.

“He has done amazing things with me and the team to get success but the players work very hard to achieve that - if you don't want to listen or work hard you won't get better.

“It is a combination of everything. I'm lucky to come across a manager who plays the way I like to play and that makes it more handy for me.”

Is De Bruyne at his peak with Man City?

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Guardiola has given De Bruyne freedom to express himself in the middle of the park, with an impressive number of goals and assists delivered as a result.

There have been suggestions that he could come into Ballon d’Or contention, as he continues to be showered with praise in the Premier League, with a humble but ambitious operator considered by many to be performing at the peak of his powers.

Quizzed on whether he feels like the best version of himself, De Bruyne added: “You guys can tell me.

“The first months of the season were really hard, I have never experienced the pain that I had back then. I was trying to come back but was in pain with my ankle every day and it wasn't something I enjoyed.

“Mentally it was hard to overcome that but once the pain was gone after a couple of months I started to feel more confident in myself and my body to get back to where I belong and now playing all these games week in, week out, I feel back to the level that I was before.

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“I don't know if there is much difference from before, I just try to be as constant as I can and I think I have managed myself very well.”

De Bruyne has taken in 40 appearances for City across all competitions this season, registering 15 goals and 12 assists.

Further reading

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