Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has been one of the best players in the Premier League since his move from Wolfsburg in 2015.
The Belgium international has racked up an impressive 25 goals and 37 assists in a century of matches for the Mancunians. The former Chelsea player was in dazzling form once again in his side’s 7-2 drubbing of Stoke City at the Etihad on Saturday, drawing high praise from manager Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola insisted that De Bruyne has what it takes to become one of the best players in the world. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss added that he would love to see the 26-year-old establish himself as the best player in world football, but did not want to put him under pressure by comparing him to Lionel Messi.
“If he wants to be considered as one of the best, he needs to win titles and we are here to help him achieve that,” said Guardiola. “The best is just one, but he can be one of the best.”
“I would love not only Kevin but all the players I have had in the past to get to the level of Messi,” he added.
“It would be a massive thing for my teams because we would win a lot of games.
“But I don’t want to put pressure on Kevin. Kevin is an outstanding, amazing player and a humble guy.
“But I don’t help by comparing him with Messi. Messi is apart. He has scored 60 goals every season for eight or nine years. Also the way he plays football.
“Of course, I would like to help Kevin to get to the highest level possible. In the past, I have heard many, many times that guy is like Messi. It is not possible.”
City’s thumping victory and rivals Manchester United’s 0-0 draw at Anfield meant that Guardiola’s men now sit two points clear at the top of the Premier League table.