Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says that team playmaker Kevin de Bruyne needs to win “lots of titles, especially the Champions League” to win the Ballon d’Or.
Belgium international de Bruyne made three assists in City’s 5-1 victory over Leicester on Saturday, taking total in the league this season to 14, four more than the next best player, his club teammate Leroy Sane.
However, while Guardiola is certain that it would be difficult to find anyy other player performing as well across Europe, that de Bruyne would first have to gather more accolades to his resume before he is to win football’s top individual award — a title dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo every year since 2008.
“No doubt,” said Guardiola. “He is not (just doing it in) one game. It’s the whole season, every three days playing that way. Every three days.”
“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.”
When asked if the ‘one’ title he was referring to was the Champions League, Guardiola said: “Of course. You have to be there in the latter stages. Without the latter stages you will not be nominated.”
Although Bruyne has now provided 18 assists for his team-mates in all competitions this season but the Belgian insists that he is not interested in individual praise.
“I am doing what I have to do,” the 26-year-old said. “It is something you reflect on after you get something like that. I am not busy with that before.”
“I do everything to win titles with the team. What happens after is an extra. I am very pleased with the way everything is going for me. I am playing this way because the team is playing this way. It makes it easier for me, it makes it easier for them.”
“At the end, if you get an individual honour, it is beautiful.”