The Manchester City playmaker has been likened to star turns at Barcelona and Real Madrid, but he considers himself to be a totally different player.
Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne is tired of comparisons to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, claiming: “If I make 10 goals, they score 100.”
Having been a talismanic presence for Pep Guardiola’s Premier League leaders this season, the Belgium international playmaker is drawing plenty of praise.
De Bruyne is now considered to be a member of the global elite, with 11 goals netted across all competitions in 2017-18 and 18 assists supplied to grateful team-mates .
The 26-year-old is, however, reluctant to be drawn into the debate regarding his standing alongside superstar performers at Barcelona and Real Madrid, with it his opinion that he is a “completely different” player.
Having been likened to Messi and Ronaldo again while on an international duty, De Bruyne told Het Belang van Limburg : “It is impossible to compare me with them. Our positions are completely different.
“They are much higher on the pitch and score ten times more than me.
“If I make 10 in a season, they score 100. But then I have other tasks on the pitch.”
City boss Pep Guardiola has suggested during the current campaign that De Bruyne is on his way to scaling similar heights to Messi and Ronaldo.
He said of a remarkably consistent performer: “He is not playing like this in just one game. It’s the whole season – every three days – playing that way.
“The way he’s played it’s difficult to find one [like it] in Europe.”
De Bruyne has been able to maintain his standards throughout the season despite becoming an obvious target for opponents to try and contain.
He can be subjected to rough treatment at times, but that is all part of the fun for a man performing at the peak of his powers.
“I do not feel really targeted by the opponents,” said De Bruyne.
“Tackles are part of football.
“I do not cry when I’m hit. I bite my teeth and I continue, with or without pain.
“Football is simply a contact sport.”