De Bruyne made 14 recoveries in a stellar all-round performance during the 2-0 win over Leicester and the Catalan says that kind of work ethic is embedded within his team’s DNA.
“This is one of our identities - one of the most talented players in the world plays like this,” said Pep.
“We spoke about this from day one.
“There is no negotiation on this. You can play bad, find bad form - but in terms of running for your mates, pressing... you have to do it.
“You do it for your team-mate because in the next action he will do it for you.
“We can play good or bad but we cannot deny in five years we are together, the players run hard and fight every single game.
“That is something I am incredibly proud of.”
With a 17-point lead at the top of the Premier League, City are now within four victories away from winning the title.
And Pep says he is just relieved his players returned from the break fit and well.
Asked if it was a big win today, he said: “Yeah a lot. All the managers think the same - after the international break, how will my players be injured?
“All these players proved again how consistent they are. The run of games we have won in the last months – I am very pleased.
“We need four more victories to win the title. Now we rest and Dortmund is the next one.”
The City boss also revealed he took the decision to rest weary legs that had played up to three games in a week for their national sides.
In doing so, it offered game time for players who hadn’t travelled in the last fortnight.
“Yesterday the players came back and I spoke to some of them and some were tired - three games in 10 days, they travel a lot,” he said.
“So we tried to put on as many fresh legs as possible today. Except Nathan Ake, the rest of the players were in Manchester.
“The players who didn't play the last game on international duty were ready to play.
“We were more patient against Leicester than the game at Etihad in September because they defend so well.
“It’s a good victory and another step.”