Arsene Wenger has presented Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne with an award after the Belgium international was included in the 2020 FIFA Men’s World XI.
The FIFA Chief of Global Football Development made the trip to the Etihad to present the award to De Bruyne after an excellent 2020 was recognised by his fellow professionals, who vote annually for the best 11 players in world football to be handed the award.
The Belgium international had an outstanding year individually in 2020, winning the PFA Player of the Year prize ahead of Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk, despite the Merseyside club running away with the Premier League title.
De Bruyne’s individual performances continue to rank him above any other player among his peers after winning the award again in 2021.
In response to a spectacular calendar year, De Bruyne supplemented his PFA Player of the Year award with the 2019-20 Premier League Playmaker, the Premier League Player of the Season, and the UEFA Midfielder of the Season.
Each year, over 25,000 players participate in voting for the prestigious prize, including all of the game’s most well-known stars. Players are asked to choose their standout three performers in each position: goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and forward. UEFA then count the results to find who professionals rate as the standout performers that year.
Surprisingly, this is the first time the brilliant midfield player has been named in the FIFA Team of the Year, although he has made the UEFA equivalent on three occasions.
Over the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons, De Bruyne racked up 32 assists – more than any player in the Premier League over the period. In an injury-ravaged 20/21 campaign that limited him to just 25 appearances, the midfielder found the back of the net on six occasions, demonstrating his threat as a goalscorer as well as a creator.
FIFA World XI: Alisson Becker; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Sergio Ramos, Virgil Van Dijk, Alphonso Davies; Joshua Kimmich, Kevin De Bruyne, Thiago Alcantara; Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo