After Manchester City’s 2-1 win over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in the first round of the Champions League last 16, Rio Ferdinand described Kevin De Bruyne as the “best midfielder in the world.”
So is there a better midfielder in the game today? The Belgium international seemingly has it all and Kevin De Bruyne’s stats suggest that he is close to perfection in his position. Over the years De Bruyne has received praise from many other players to strengthen his case, including many of the greatest in football history.
Praise from others
Barcelona’s legend Xavi previously hailed Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne, comparing his impact with that of Lionel Messi at Barcelona. Furthermore, De Bruyne’s teammate Gabriel Jesus lauded his teammate as “one of the best players in the world.”
Jesus went on to add; “His quality is outstanding as an individual out on the pitch but it’s the way that he makes that work for the whole team, and connects with the other players, that makes him special.”
Of course, De Bruyne’s mentor and manager at Man City, Pep Guardiola, is one of the 28-year old’s biggest fans. Guardiola recently heaped praise on the “exceptional” Kevin De Bruyne and revealed what makes him so special. “It’s not necessary for me to say absolutely anything about Kevin anymore. I’d just say: ‘Take a look at how he plays’”, Guardiola said ahead of the League Cup final against Aston Villa, which the Citizens won 2-1, their third consecutive title.
Speaking after that victory over Real Madrid, Guardiola added: “The performance level, the continuity, the influence in our final third and on our finishing, the desire, his calmness and positivity. I mean, I asked him: ‘Kevin, what did you feel before you took that penalty?’ and he just said: ‘I’m going to score’. He doesn’t feel much pressure, he likes to play in the big events, he’s an exceptional player.”
Kevin de Bruyne stats
Even fans of other clubs must admit that there are few sights in the game more impressive than Kevin de Bruyne at his best. In fact the Kevin de Bruyne stats suggest that this may be the Belgian’s best season at City yet. He already has more goals and assists at this stage of the campaign than in any of his previous seasons at Manchester City.
De Bruyne already has 16 assists so far in the Premier League, just two shy of the total he managed in the whole of his excellent 2017-18 campaign. That also puts him close to equaling Thierry Henry’s single-season record in the Premier League of 20 assists. Further to that, he has also contributed 8 goals, giving him 24 goal contributions from 26 Premier League appearances. Not bad for a central midfielder.
It isn’t just the Premier League where De Bruyne is leading the way on assists though, he has the joint highest number of assist in Europe’s big five leagues, with only Bayern Munich’s Thomas Müller (16) and Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho (15) anywhere close to him. Considering that the Premier League is considered to be tougher than the Bundesliga, De Bruyne’s tally is spectacular.
Best central midfielder
Kevin De Bruyne can be played as a number 6, 8 or 10 and in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 tie against Real Madrid, Pep Guardiola sprung a surprise by playing him as a false nine. At 28-years old, the Belgian is now entering the peak of his career and there is a strong argument that he is the finest active midfielder in the world right now.
De Bruyne might not be acclaimed as best footballer in the world, a title that is still usually reserved for the likes of Messi or Ronaldo, however he’s arguably the most complete. De Bruyne is creative, powerful, skillful and incredibly dynamic. The Manchester City favorite can pass, score, dribble, tackle, cross and all with either foot. Can you name another player who can do all of that?
The Coronavirus is doing its best to disrupt the sporting schedule but we still have football and racing pools available to play. Click here to get involved.