Pep Guardiola believes Kevin de Bruyne's sensational form for Man City this season means he's a contender for this year's Ballon d'Or.

De Bruyne in Ballon d'Or contention - Pep

De Bruyne in Ballon d'Or contention - Pep

Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona ace Lionel Messi have dominated the prize in recent years but De Bruyne's brilliance in the Premier League for City this term means they may have new competition in 2018.

When asked if he feels the Belgian, who has 14 assists to his name this term, is in contention for the honour, the City boss said: 'No doubt. He is not one game. It’s the whole season every three days playing that way.'

Guardiola admits, however, that for De Bruyne to win the award he and City will have to pick up silverware this season - and, in particular, do well in the Champions League, which resumes this week.

He added: 'He knows and everyone knows to be there you have to win titles, and titles and titles. Especially one.

'You have to be there in the latter stages. Without the latter stages you will not be nominated.'

City have only ever reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League but will hope to improve on that disappointing recent record this year and face Swiss outfit Basel over two legs in the last 16.