Kevin De Bruyne made headlines last season by becoming Britain's second most expensive footballer ever—just 18 months after leaving Chelsea.
As a new era beckons at Manchester City, Pep Guardiola and his possession-based football will be calling on the Belgian international to become even more instrumental in his role for the club.
We joined Kevin De Bruyne at the Etihad Campus for a training session and to try out Nike's new Magista Obra IIs that he will be wearing this season.
Who's looked sharp in pre-season?
Most of the people are looking sharp already, but they've had four weeks so now it's my job to get there as quick as possible and be at the same level.
And in terms of working with Pep [Guardiola], how excited are you about that?
I'm excited. I've been in a few meetings and been following the training. It's been a little more tactical as he has a lot of ideas. I'm looking forward to being able to play and put these tactics into practice.
Can you tell us a little about your ambition for this season, as a team and for you personally?
Personally, I just want to continue playing the level I've been doing for the last year and hopefully I can do a little bit better. It's always difficult to play better and better, but I was happy with the way everything was going last season, so I want to maintain that. With City I just want to do a little bit better than last year, we had a good season, not great, but we had some injuries and some problems so hopefully we can try to get that title this year.
How do you rate Manchester City's chances for the title?
I think we have a good chance but obviously the Premier League is so hard. There's a lot of money coming in and so a lot of good players are going to each team, so every game is a fight, but on the other hand it's good to get a good, competitive league.
Roberto Martinez has become the new manager for Belgium – what do you make of that?
I know he was at Everton and he did alright, but I don't know how he is as a person or as a coach. I'm looking forward to the next few weeks and we'll be starting again there also.
Where did your attacking nature of play come from?
When I was little I was always going to the goal. I've always wanted to score and create something and I think it's always been within me to play offensively.
As a kid growing up what playmakers did you look up to thinking I'd love to be like them?
I looked up to Zidane and Ronaldinho... two different playmakers but everyone has their own style and I just liked the way that they played at that moment.
You've switched from Nike's Mercurial to Magista – how have you found that transition?
I feel good. I had played in the Mercurial since my teens but once I had tried out the Magista 2 a few times I was ready to make a change. It is light, so I can cover all the ground I need to, but gives me a feel for the ball that’s right for my game.
Did you get these personalised? Are these your choices?
These are the new ones, the special edition coming later on. [Elite Pack, released 16th August]
Before a matchday who controls the music in the dressing room and what do they play?
Mostly it's Gaël [Clichy] in this team... he has his own DJ set and everything he does is himself so the style is a little bit of a mix.
I heard Joe Hart plays Stormzy now... Raheem got him onto it?
[Laughs] Yeah, it's more an English thing I think. I'm not familiar with... I know a few songs but I don't know really who he is.
And in your down time do you ever play FIFA?
Nah, I play NBA or Call of Duty when I have the time.
Kevin De Bruyne trains and plays in the Nike Magista 2, the playmaker’s boot, designed with enhanced touch, fit and traction. Available now on nike.com.