Pep Guardiola tips Kevin de Bruyne for Ballon d'Or

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has tipped Kevin de Bruyne to compete for the 2018 Ballon d'Or after his exceptional performances in the Citizens shirt this season. The 26-year-old has evolved into a world-class midfielder under the tutelage of Guardiola, and he recently provided a hat-trick of assists during his side's 5-1 win over Leicester City in the Premier League.

Following the game, Guardiola was asked whether the Belgian could win the prestigious Ballon d'Or, and he admitted that it is a possibility, if the midfielder goes on to lift titles with the club this term, he said: "No doubt. He is not (just doing it in) one game. It’s the whole season, every three days playing that way. But he knows and everyone knows, to be there you have to win titles - and titles and titles, especially one. But the way he’s played it’s difficult to find one (better) in Europe."

De Bruyne has already notched a league-high 14 assists this season, and this has taken his overall tally across all competitions to 18, in addition to the 11 goals he has contributed. Despite his excellent prowess, De Bruyne is not thinking about any individual awards with the focus primarily on helping the team win titles, he said: "To be fair, when I am busy playing football I don’t care (about that. I do everything to win titles with the team. What happens after is an extra."
The former Chelsea man has celebrated a sole League Cup success since his arrival at the Etihad in the summer of 2015, but there is plenty in story for the Belgian this campaign with the Citizens still alive across all four competitions.
While the title is very much secure with a 16-point lead over second-placed Manchester United, City are also favourites for the League Cup final next weekend as they face an Arsenal side, who are out-of-sorts with their defensive displays of late.