De Bruyne, 27, displayed his leadership qualities during City's ill-tempered FA Cup defeat to Wigan last season when he calmed down Leroy Sane.
“Sane was angry that he had been substituted," De Bruyne told BBC's Football Focus. “I remember that he showed it a bit and Pep wasn't happy with that.
“In the end I told him 'it's all right, it's not because you're bad, it's for tactical reasons and you are going to play so many games. Don't show it too much'.
“Sometimes some managers would take that very badly. I did [it] when I was young. I told Leroy he is going to play another 30 or 40 games and win a lot of games for us."