​Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne believes that he is 'probably not too far' from contending for the Ballon d’Or.

The Belgian has been in scintillating form for the Cityzens this season - despite their likely failure to defend the Premier League title against league leaders Liverpool - scoring eight goals in the English top flight this campaign, and topping the assists table with 16.

With Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo - who collectively account for 11 of the last 12 Ballons d’Or - now entering their twilight years, De Bruyne was confident about his chances of competing for football’s most illustrious individual prize when asked by Sky Sports.

"I don't know, but I think I'm pretty close,” De Bruyne concluded when asked to rate his chances of Ballon d’Or recognition, going on to add: “I know if the team performs well and I perform with them, I will get the accolades.

"Probably not too far. But who am I to decide that? I just try to be the best I can be. I've been playing well over the last few years and even last season,

De Bruyne was widely praised for a mature all round performance on Wednesday in Man City’s 2-1 Champions League conquering of Real Madrid at the Bernabéu, a game in which he ended the Sky Blues’ woes away from home in Europe by firing home the winner from the spot

The former Chelsea man argues that he has developed a more versatile skill set in recent years which prepares him for such challenges.

"I think I'm more of a complete footballer than I was a few years ago. I've had some good years in my career but I think either side of the ball, mentally, leading a team, I'm better now than I was two or three years ago."

The closest de Bruyne has got to the accolade is his ninth-place finish in 2018’s Ballon d’Or voting process, but manager Pep Guardiola made it clear to his star midfielder that he expects even better, the Belgian recalling that Pep foresaw him 'easily' becoming one of the world’s best five players when he spoke to The Players’ Tribune.