Kevin De Bruyne can win the Ballon d'Or, says Pep Guardiola

De Bruyne penned a new deal worth £275,000-a-week in January and will now stay him at the club until 2023.

Cristiano Ronaldo has won the last two Ballon d'Or titles on offer, and between them, he and Lionel Messi have accounted for the last 10 awards handed out.

Guardiola usually dismisses any comparisons with Messi, a player he rates as the "best in history" after having managed the Argentine from 2008-12 during Barcelona's trophy-laden golden era.

He converted De Bruyne's cross in the 48th minute and collected another pass from him to fire through Kasper Schmeichel's attempted save.

It seems like things have changed.

"He is not playing like this in just one game".

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola called star striker Sergio Aguero "an authentic legend" after the Argentinian slammed home four goals in a stunning second-half display to help his side to a 5-1 win over Leicester City yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The Premier League title looks all but delivered, and City could launch a strong run at the Champions League crown with De Bruyne leading the charge and Basel next on their fixture list.

This could be City's year, too.

"We scored six goals last season in the last 16 and we were out because we conceded six". With De Bruyne in such scintillating form, City should not be troubled.

With Liverpool in action against a goal-shy Southampton later today, Mohamed Salah - who is level on goals with Aguero - could close the gap on Kane. The Belgian is playing in a deeper central-midfield role, where he can influence games more with his passing, energy and reading of the game.

City have only progressed beyond the last 16 once in six previous Champions League campaigns - De Bruyne's excellent victor securing a semi-final spot at Paris Saint-Germain's expense in 2016 - and memories of last season's thrilling away goals exit at the hands of Monaco remain fresh for Guardiola. The club is also in both domestic cup competitions.

"He wants attractive football to be played". It makes it easier for me, easier for them.

With a League Cup final date against Arsenal looming at the end of the month, Aguero says City are focused on silverware rather than individual plaudits.