Hazard: Magic De Bruyne one of the world's best

Kevin De Bruyne has been described as "magic" and "a special player" by Belgium team-mate Eden Hazard.

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne   -  Getty Images

Chelsea star Eden Hazard says Kevin De Bruyne has become one of the best players in the world at Manchester City.

The midfielder has been the standout performer in an exceptional City side this season, with 11 goals and 19 assists in all competitions.

Hazard, who will face his Belgium team-mate at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, believes De Bruyne is thriving given the confidence with which he plays in Pep Guardiola's side.

"He's fantastic," Hazard told Sky Sports. "He's clever on and off the pitch. He's in full confidence as he's playing in the best team in the Premier League this year.

"When he's on the pitch with good players, he's one of the best in the world. Every time he has the ball at his feet, he can do something magic.

"He doesn't score a lot of goals but he can create something with just one movement or pass. It's simple, he's a special player.

"City are a team, though, not just one player. I can tell my team-mates to stop De Bruyne or [Sergio] Aguero but they have 11 players, they are not just two players.

"I'm happy to see Kevin before kick-off but for 90 minutes I'll try to forget he's my friend. I like to make jokes with my friends in the tunnel but as soon as the referee blows the whistle I'm focused on the game.

"After the game – win lose or draw – I will shake his hand and say, 'See you in March with the national team'."

Hazard also revealed De Bruyne has won his vote for the PFA Players' Player of the Year award, ahead of Tottenham striker Harry Kane and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah.

"I think there are three: Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane," said the 27-year-old.

"I voted for Kevin De Bruyne. He is the best. I could have also voted for Salah because I played with him and he's my friend but Salah is more a striker than a player.

"Kevin has got everything. He defends, crosses the ball, assists and scores goals in big games. For me, he is the best this season."

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