Roberto Martinez Believes Man City Star's Performances Are "Ballon d'Or Material"

Belgium national team manager, Roberto Martinez believes Kevin De Bruyne's performances for Manchester City this season are 'Ballon d'Or material.'
Publish date:

The star midfielder suffered an acute nose bone fracture and left orbital fracture after a collision with Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger in the Champions League final. 

However, a small and successful surgery has boosted his chances of playing in Belgium's opening European Championships fixture against Russia on Saturday. Manager Roberto Martinez was full of praise for his captain whilst speaking exclusively to the Athletic this week.

"The player we see nowadays still has the incredible brain capable of breaking down defences, but he also does not play in systems, he plays to spaces and to the role he is given," Martinez began.

READ MORE: Atletico Madrid consider offering £70M star for Bernardo Silva

READ MORE: Barcelona target move for Man City winger Raheem Sterling

"He is producing incredible performances with Manchester City. To reach a Champions League final, his performances are totally Ballon d’Or material at the moment."

Certainly high praise for the recently crowned back-to-back PFA Men's Player of the Season, and it's this winning mentality that Roberto Martinez is hoping to use to his advantage in the upcoming tournament.

"He is a winner with high, high standards. He does not get pleased only by winning," the Belgium boss continued. "There is a way of doing things right and when it does not happen, he is not happy. It is his biggest strength." 

READ MORE: Pep Guardiola makes demand of club board towards Jack Grealish

READ MORE: Where Phil Foden ranks amongst the world's most expensive players

"Football is his way of competing and satisfaction of excellence in what he does."

The 30 year-old has won a lot in football, but an international tournament is something that's eluded him. Roberto Martinez has noticed a switch in his mindset going into Saturday's opening game.

"There is a difference between the Kevin of five and ten years ago, he is more aware, more mature, playing with an armband, but he will never lose the edge of not being happy when standards are not at his expectations.”

You can read the full interview here.

Follow us on Twitter for live updates: @City_Xtra