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Pep Guardiola says Kevin De Bruyne amongst favourites to win Ballon d’Or

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes Kevin De Bruyne can easily be considered amongst one of the frontrunners for the Ballon d’Or title.

The Belgium international has helped spearhead the Citizens’ charge towards the Premier League title this season, with his seven goals and 14 assists helping the side to a 16-point lead atop the table.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have dominated the award over the past decade and between them have clinched the title each year since 2008, but Guardiola believes De Bruyne is capable of breaking that duopoly.

“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.”

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