Pep Guardiola was full of praise for Kevin De Bruyne as the Manchester City midfielder was voted into the 2020 FIFA FIFPro World XI.
Every year FIFA and FIFPro aim to recognise the best players in world football, with voting ballots sent out to players across the globe to decide on the stars that have most impressed them over the past 12 months. A shortlist of 55 are then whittled down to just one team and De Bruyne has made the final cut.
City’s Belgian playmaker becomes the first male player at the club to ever be voted into the team. Lucy Bronze was also celebrating after winning Women’s Player of the Year and making the best XI; the England right-back was named in the women’s XI in 2017, although she was a Lyon player by then after moving from Manchester in the summer.
Having lost much of the 2018/19 campaign to injury, De Bruyne has underlined his standing as one of the greatest players in the world over the last 18 months with consistently outstanding performances. He equalled the Premier League record for assists with 20 in the 2019/20 season and already has 10 in all competitions this year.
Celebrating the player he has on his hands, City boss Guardiola said: “All of us here at Manchester City are happy and proud Kevin has been selected in this incredible team containing the best XI players of the year.
“His vision, speed of thought, the detailed way he sees the game and his technical quality mean he possesses everything a top midfielder needs to excel. We are lucky to have him at Manchester City.
“Being named in a world XI voted for by his rivals says everything you need to know. It is further recognition of his ability and shows the respect he has throughout the game.
“It is a pleasure to coach someone who is so professional and such nice person. His lovely parents should be so, so proud.”