Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne revealed that he supported Liverpool as a boy and admired Michael Owen.
The 27-year-old is widely regarded as one of the Premier League’s best playmakers due to his wide range of passing skills and vision, which has proven to be invaluable for City ever since they signed him for a then-club record fee of €75m from German side Wolfsburg.
De Bruyne has since gone on to play key roles in City’s Premier League title last season and their three EFL Cups over the past four years.
Now the Belgium international is aiming bigger this term as Pep Guardiola’s side chase an unprecedented quadruple by winning all three domestic competitions in England and the Champions League.
But standing in City’s way to becoming the first team since Manchester United in 2009 to retain the Premier League crown is Liverpool, who sit just one point below them in the standings.
And now De Bruyne has revealed how he supported the Reds as a child and idolised former striker Owen, who scored 158 goals in 297 games for the club.
“I was a Liverpool fan. My family that live in England were all Liverpool supporters so I was, too,” De Bruyne told Match of the Day Magazine.
“I loved Michael Owen, because I was really small like him and quick, too. I compared myself to him at the time. I liked [Zinedine] Zidane and Ronaldinho too – those really skilful players.”
As for what he hopes to win, De Bruyne said: “I don’t really have dreams any more – I’m living the dream. I want to win as much as possible and have good moments.
“We’ve won the Premier League and some other cups, but if you win the Champions League it really gives you something extra.”
He added: “To say, ‘I won the Champions League’ would be incredible.”
On the back of winning the first leg of their last-16 tie 3-2 on February 20, City will play Schalke 04 tonight at the Etihad Stadium hoping to maintain their advantage and booked a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
The match will begin at 9:00 PM (CET).