Pep Guardiola has backed a Manchester City star to break Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's Ballon d'Or dominance.
The Portuguese and the Argentine, who have 10 Ballon d'Or crowns between them, have dominated the awards ceremony over the past decade, but the Citizens boss believes there could soon be a new contender.
After his side's 5-1 thrashing of Leicester City on Saturday, Guardiola was asked if he thought Belgium international Kevin De Bruyne could compete with Ronaldo and Messi for the individual award.
"No doubt," Guardiola answered, according to the Daily Mirror.
"But it's not one game. It's the whole season, every three days, playing that way. Every three games.
“He knows – and everyone knows – to be there, you have to win titles, and titles and titles. Especially one. The way he plays, it's difficult to find one (better) in Europe.
"You have to be there in the latter stages. Without getting to the latter stages, you will not be nominated."
De Bruyne, himself, was gracious after the match following the praise he received, and insisted he does everything for the greater good of his club.
"I do everything to win titles with the team," the Belgian said.
"What happens after is an extra. I'm very pleased with the way everything is going for me. I'm playing this way because the team is playing this way. It makes it easier for me, it makes it easier for them. At the end, if you get an individual honour, it's beautiful.
"When I'm busy playing football, I don't care (about praise). I'm doing what I have to do. It's something you reflect on after you get something like that."
The 26-year-old has made 37 appearances for City so far this season, scoring 11 goals and assisting a further 18 strikes.
Do you think the Belgian has what it takes to dethrone Ronaldo and Messi? Have your say in the comments section below.