Kevin De Bruyne is the best player that Pep Guardiola has ever managed, bar Lionel Messi, the Manchester City boss said following the citizen’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday.
Belgium international De Bruyne scored City’s first goal in Saturday’s rout of the Cherries, and his all-round display had his new coach purring with delight.
"Messi is on a table on his own. No-one else is allowed. But the table beside, Kevin can sit there," said Guardiola.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has worked with some of the game’s best talent, coaching Xavi and Andres Iniesta at Barca and Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller in Germany.
But he believes that the 25-year old midfielder is one of the best.
"Kevin is an outstanding player," Guardiola said. "Without the ball he is the first fighter. With the ball he is clear. He sees absolutely everything.
— Kevin De Bruyne (@DeBruyneKev) September 17, 2016
"He makes the right decision in the right moment every single time."
"I don't know him too much but from what I can see he is a guy who likes to be at home with his wife and kids," he added.
"Before the game he is relaxed and quiet.
"He is one of the best, there is no doubt about that. We are lucky to have him."
De Bruyne has 18 goals and 16 assists for City in just 48 games, and seems determined to prove a point after then-Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho sold him to Wolfsburg in 2014 saying he was not ready for the Premier League.