Spain Icon Xavi Pays Huge Compliment To Kevin de Bruyne

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Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez has paid tribute to Kevin de Bruyne, claiming the Belgian is playing like Lionel Messi at Manchester City this season.

City lead the Premier League table by 15 points and are one game away from equalling boss Pep Guardiola’s own record of successive wins; his Bayern Munich side went on a run of 19 games without dropping a point.

There have been many stars at the Etihad Stadium this season, such as top scorer Raheem Sterling, who has 17 to his name in all competitions this term. De Bruyne set him up for the winner at Newcastle on Wednesday with his ninth assist of the season; he is the favourite to be named Player of the Year, too.

Now Xavi, who left Barcelona for Qatari side Al Saad in 2015, has given him perhaps the highest praise yet.

Speaking to the Mirror, he said: “Pep’s teams win as teams, but even the most special sides need that player to look to when they need something special.

“At Barcelona we had it with Messi and this team Manchester City have it with De Bruyne.

“Every time he has the ball, you get the feeling that he is going to do something special with it.

“Not every game you can win 3-0 or 4-0, especially in the Champions League and that is when you need one moment of brilliance from a special player.

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“City are playing with The DNA of Barcelona, but that is no surprise. Pep has Barcelona DNA and transmits that to Manchester City.

“The football they are playing is mesmerising. They are the in-form team in Europe and as good as their players are, Pep has to take credit for the football they are playing and the form they are in.

“Pep teams do not just happen, these record runs do not just happen, treble-winning seasons do not just happen – they happen because Pep is obsessive about winning.

“He is focused, he hates to lose and that becomes infectious with the players.”

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