Speaking ahead of his side’s Champions League fixture with Napoli on Tuesday, Guardiola has hailed his Belgian midfielder as being Europe’s best player, bar one very obvious choice.
The Belgian midfielder gave a masterclass display as City demolished Stoke 7-2 on Saturday to ensure that they stayed top of the Premier League table with two crucial points in hand.
Bruyne was the driving force of the entire performance, and was involved in five of the seven goals scored as he provided two assists for Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane as he weaved in and out seamlessly through the Stoke defence.
Following the performance, Guardiola called it one of – if not the best – performance during his City reign, and in his press conference in preparation for the Champions League tie, came up with yet another superlative for his star player.
“Kevin de Bruyne is the best player in Europe bar one,” Guardiola said at a press conference on Monday.
“I would like to help him all I can to help him get to the highest level possible.”
It’s not hard to guess who he was speaking about – and it can be safe to be assumed that he is speaking of none other Lionel Messi.
The time that the Argentine forward and the Spanish manager spent together at Camp Nou created for an era that saw Barcelona play football that was inimitable and incomparable, their legendary sextuple victory in 2010 and beyond going down in history.
Messi and Guardiola were responsible for the most successful and decorated generations in Barcelona history, and de Bruyne – no matter how stellar in the current time – has a long way before he unseats the Argentine as the best player that Guardiola has managed. The Belgian is in good stead, though.
Manchester City’s European clash with Napoli will be a highly anticipated one, as both are top of their respective domestic leagues and both unbeaten.
City have only dropped points once so far this season in a draw with Everton – while Napoli have maintained a perfect campaign, winning all eight of their matches.