Kevin De Bruyne is one of six Manchester City players shortlisted for the 2021 Ballon d’Or.
It is the Belgian’s sixth consecutive nomination for the award, which recognizes the best players in world football over the past 12 months.
The midfielder joins teammates Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, Ruben Dias and Raheem Sterling on the men’s 30-man shortlist, while Ellen White is also eligible for the women’s award.
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The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Paris on Monday 29 November, and in the run-up to the showpiece, we’ve reviewed the highlights and stats of all of our City stars over the past year.
Below you will discover how and why De Bruyne made the shortlist of 30 men.
De Bruyne’s performance in our first game of 2021, a dominant 3-1 win over Chelsea, set the tone for a memorable year, both individually and collectively.
The Belgian acted like a false nine at Stamford Bridge, racking up one goal and one assist as Pep Guardiola’s men devastatingly sweep the Londoners aside.
He followed that fine form with two more Premier League assists to wins over Brighton and Crystal Palace, while City’s march to their third Premier League title in four seasons quickly continued.
The midfielder was out for a month with a hamstring injury, but he picked up where he left off on his return as the final stages of the campaign approached.
Between a flurry of five goals in five games, De Bruyne would take the opening goal in City’s 2-1 Champions League quarter-final victory over Borussia Dortmund, just one day before signing a two-year extension to his current contract. . Club.
And the Belgian would end the month with an equally influential performance in the next round, curling our equalizer to Paris Saint-Germain before Riyad Mahrez completed the comeback in our first stage win in the French capital.
As City continued our pursuit of an unprecedented fourfold increase, Guardiola regularly switched the squad to stay on their toes, meaning De Bruyne’s influence was mainly reserved for our march to the Champions League final rather than the Premier League title.
But that didn’t stop the 30-year-old from rounding out his domestic campaign with the opening goal and another assist in a 5-0 win over Everton on the final day of the season.
And his stellar contributions were recognized shortly after, as he became the first Premier League star in over a decade to claim the PFA Player of the Year award in consecutive seasons.
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“Everything we’ve done over these years is thanks to a person like him,” Guardiola said of De Bruyne at a recent press conference, illustrating the midfielder’s significance to City’s cause.
“He is such an important player for us and an excellent person.
“He’s done more than good since he got here, and he wants to keep doing that.”
A facial injury sustained in the Champions League final in May forced him out of his national team’s Euro 2020 opener against Russia, but De Bruyne was in inspired form on his return, picking up one goal and one assist when Belgium vanished. fell behind to beat Denmark 2-1 .
Against Finland there was no setback as Roberto Martinez’s men reached the knockout stage with a 2-0 win, with De Bruyne taking on Romelu Lukaku to complete the score.
And while Belgium was eventually knocked out of the competition by eventual winner Italy, De Bruyne’s influence on the international stage was far from over.
Three more assists in two games in October’s Nations League final against France and the Azzurri followed, before De Bruyne played his part in securing his country’s passage to the 2022 World Cup with one win and one draw against Estonia and Wales respectively.
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2021 in numbers – all competitions
Games played: 37
Minutes played: 2,548