Kyle Walker asserts that Manchester City talisman Kevin De Bruyne is only in the “same bracket” as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Having undergone surgery on his hamstring and missing the first half of the season, the Belgian midfielder has now overcome his injuries.
He is back with the ambition “to be the best” in the world. Since his return, he has been in sensational form, inspiring City to three points against Newcastle United after coming off the bench. He scored and then set up Oscar Bobb in injury time.
De Bruyne was on FIFPro Team of the Year for the fourth consecutive year
Kyle Walker said: “I think there’s only certain players, the likes of Messi and Ronaldo, that you can say are in the same bracket as Kevin – Kevin goes into that bracket for me. When he came on against Newcastle, you could feel that push, you could feel that energy and that excitement. He gives you a lift and Kevin is at his best when he’s on the ball playing passes that you don’t think are even visible to play.”
Earning his place in the FIFPro Team of the Year for the fourth consecutive time, De Bruyne played a pivotal role in City’s treble-winning campaign. He achieved an impressive record of 31 assists across various competitions last season.
Noteworthy performances include providing two assists against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals and another pair against Manchester United in the FA Cup final.
De Bruyne also added 10 goals to his contribution and emerged as a decisive force in crucial matches, such as scoring a brace against Arsenal in the Premier League at the Etihad Stadium, a performance that proved crucial in the title race.
City achieved a unique feat with six players making it to the FIFA World Team of the Year, featuring defenders Ruben Dias, John Stones, and Walker. This accomplishment stands out, as no club had secured six representatives in the FIFPro XI since Barcelona in 2010.
De Bruyne has returned to peak form just in time for City as they prepare to defend their Premier League and Champions League titles. Currently on a brief winter break, they are set to resume action against Tottenham on January 26 in an away FA Cup fourth-round tie.