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Four-goal hero Aguero salutes De Bruyne

12 February 2018

Strangely enough, however, City only rank as the 12th most-fouled team in the Premier League this term while Sterling is the only Citizen star to appear in the top 25 most-fouled players so far this season.

Having coached Lionel Messi as the Barcelona superstar and Cristiano Ronaldo began their domination of the Ballon d'Or a decade ago, Guardiola was unequivocal when asked whether his 26-year-old midfielder was at a level to be considered for the prestigious individual prize.

They see it as something that could benefit the whole of the game, not just City, and believe other clubs might support it.

Will De Bruyne take home the Premier League Player of the Season award for his performances in recent months? Every three days."But he knows and everyone knows, to be there you have to win titles - and titles and titles, especially one".

At the Etihad Stadium, Aguero and the brilliant Kevin De Bruyne, who contributed three assists, were in inspired form as City blew away Leicester City in the second half to seal a 5-1 result - their 23rd league victory from 27 games.

"You have to be there [in the Champions League] to win and if you are not there in the latter stages you will not be nominated". At the end, if you get an individual honour it is attractive.

But they are red-hot favourites to get past Basel and book their place in the quarter-finals yet Guardiola is taking nothing for granted.

Winning the Europa League is looking the best route - but a challenging one - to return to the Champions League.

"I would like to give [Aguero] a rest sometimes but he is the only striker we have", Guardiola added, with commitments across four competitions on the agenda this month. We will not go through.

'It looks at this moment in time that Chelsea are the team that are going to have to fight hardest to finish in that top four'. That is our only concern.

City remain on course for an unprecedented quadruple this season and, despite the likes of Fernandinho and David Silva wearing the armband for much of the campaign, Guardiola confirmed that Kompany would have the honour of lifting any silverware.

Four-goal hero Aguero salutes De Bruyne