- Pep Guardiola says only Lionel Messi is a better player than De Bruyne in Europe presently
- The Belgian was involved in five of the seven goals City scored in the 7 - 2 win over Stoke City
- Guardiola says he would De Bruyne to become the best after Messi by winning trophies
Pep Guardiola says Lionel Messi is the only footballer currently better than Manchester City midfielder in Europe.
The Spaniard however said the Belgian must win trophies if he is to be considered one of the world's greatest players.
Asked whether De Bruyne could become the best player in the world, Guardiola told a news conference: "The best is just one.
"If you want Kevin to be considered one of the best, he has to win titles. We are here to help him achieve that.
"But he is one of the best. It would be a dream for me, I would love all the players not just Kevin to achieve the level of Messi.
"I don't want to put the pressure on Kevin. He is an amazing player, a humble guy, all his teammates love him. He wants to play every game and fight until the end.
"But Messi is apart. He is a guy who scored 60 goals for the last eight, nine, 10 seasons. I want to help Kevin all I can to get to the highest level possible."
De Bruyne has been in outstanding form this season and many consider him the best in the Premier League this season after he helped City beat Stoke City 7 - 2 on Saturday, October 14.
Manchester City face Italian Serie A league leader Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday, October 18.