Kevin de Bruyne has admitted that Manchester City can not compare to Manchester United in terms of heritage.
Pep Guardiola also noted earlier in the season that Man City could never replicate the worldwide esteem garnered by Man United over the years.
Jose Mourinho‘s men currently sit just four points behind their noisy neighbours in the Premier League table with thirteen games remaining.
And De Bruyne, speaking ahead of City’s Champions League game with Monaco, claimed that City “cannot compare” to United when it comes to history.
“People talk about teams like Man United and Liverpool, with the history they have,” said De Bruyne.
“Obviously they are great teams and you cannot compare us to them because we didn’t have the time that they’ve had already for doing what they did in the Champions League.
“They’ve been there for multiple years and we’ve only been there for five or six years. We need the same amount of time to compare to them in the Champions League.
“For me (history means) nothing, but for a lot of people in the world it means everything. That’s why people are talking about Man City a little bit less than they do the other teams.
“Everybody in England will be very proud about the English teams achieving a lot in Europe, but we also want the chance to try that.
“If we do it for another 50 years and then we have a couple of Champions Leagues, people will maybe also look differently at us.”
It is somewhat telling that United, despite finishing below City for the last three seasons, have still managed to cultivate more worldwide interest than the blue half of Manchester.
Then again, this shouldn’t come as a surprise: United, after all, have an identity that stretches back for generations; every aspect of this club is underpinned by a lucrative, truly captivating history. City, on the other hand, proclaim a different kind of narrative – one that essentially wiped out a long history of failure and replaced it with a new, fiscally driven faceless machine. One can rightfully label them as a true footballing superpower, blessed with an excellent squad and incredible infrastructure, but what about the romance?
United may not be near top spot this season, but nobody passes them when it comes to sheer pedigree.