SOCCER - A.Klagenfurt vs Southampton, test match KLAGENFURT,AUSTRIA,18.JUL.22 - SOCCER - ADMIRAL Bundesliga, Premier League, SK Austria Klagenfurt vs FC Southampton, test match. Image shows a ball. PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxAUTxSUIxSWE GEPAxpictures/xFlorianxMori

Ahead of his side’s last-16 meeting with Real Madrid, the Belgium midfielder laughed off claims they have to triumph in Europe to succeed.

Kevin De Bruyne considers Manchester City will be written off as failures if they don’t win the Champions League, despite their latest trophy haul.

City won every trophy available in England last season and have won the past two Premier League titles, accruing record points haul of 100 in 2017-18.

But victory in Europe has so far the club, with their 2016 run to the semi-finals the nearest they need to come to lifting the trophy.

On this occasion, they were knocked out by Real Madrid, who went onto win the contest, and both sides face each other again the last-16 of the year’s contest, with the first leg on Wednesday.

Madrid have won the trophy a record 13 times, but De Bruyne insists City will travel to Santiago Bernabeu playing their usual game.

“Obviously it is Madrid. They’ve won the most Champions Leagues from everyone,” that the City midfielder said. “But I think we’ll go there to attempt and play our game like we always do and try to play offensive football, try to place them under pressure, try to get a fantastic match and when we can win.”

The excursion to the Spanish capital is followed by a third consecutive Carabao Cup closing, but De Bruyne considers that national success won’t change some critics’ perceptions of the season.

“If we do not win it [the Champions League] everyone will say we’re failures like the past five decades!” he added. “It’s something we have not won yet. We always want to win everything but occasionally another team is better or doing well — such as Liverpool do this year.

“It is only that way and you just need to admit it. But we’ll just go there to win this match. You can not look too much forward and see what is going to happen.”

Meanwhile, De Bruyne says that he is prepared to take over punishment obligation if needed, although Sergio Aguero is set to continue with the duty despite his miss against Leicester on Saturday.

City have missed their last four spot-kicks and inquired if it was a worry, De Bruyne confessed: “If you win the matches’no’ but if you lose points ‘yes’.

“It is possibly a rough patch for the moment but I believe there have been periods where we scored plenty of penalties. It happens. We would like to put them in, but it is a period where we are missing a few.

“It can happen to everyone, so it is stupid to blame them. Obviously, if you overlook you feel a little bad.”

De Bruyne has taken just 1 penalty for City back in 2016, which was rescued by Everton’s Maarten Stekelenburg, but he wouldn’t shirk the chance again if he had been asked.

“Yeah, why not? I don’t really care,” he added. “For me personally I think it’s important for strikers to have them because it helps their goals tally.

“It does not affect me that much but if they need me to measure up, I will. That is obviously something for the technical staff to pick.”