Kevin De Bruyne has admitted Manchester City will be regarded as "failures" if they fail to win the Champions League this season.
City head to the Bernabeu for the first leg of their last-16 tie against Real Madrid on Wednesday, with the match having taken on added emphasis in the wake of the two-year ban handed down to the club by UEFA for "serious breaches" of Financial Fair Play regulations.
The reigning Premier League champions are appealing against that ruling but know this could be their last opportunity to win the trophy they most desire under boss Pep Guardiola.
Europe's elite club competition is the one trophy that has so far alluded City, who won every trophy available in England last year, and De Bruyne knows the pressure is on for them to finally deliver success this season.
"If we don't win it [the Champions League] everybody is going to say we are failures like the last five years!" he said.
"It's something we've not won yet. We always want to win everything but sometimes another team is better or performing well – like Liverpool are doing this season.
"It's just that way and you just have to admit it. But we will just go there to win that game. You can't look too much forwards and see what's going to happen."
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