Pep Guardiola rates Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne as the next-best player after Lionel Messi

Kevin de Bruyne came up with a complete performance in Manchester City's 4-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola lauded Kevin de Bruyne after the midfielder starred in Manchester City's 4-0 win over Bournemouth on 17 September.

De Bruyne opened the scoring for the home side early in the first half with a free kick that was perfectly sent underneath the jumping Bournemouth wall. Playing behind striker Kelechi Iheanacho, the 25-year-old caused headaches for the visitors' backline. Before being taken off in the second half by Guardiola, he also set one up for Ilkay Gundogan.

It was a complete performance from City, who resumed their Premier League 2016/17 campaign after thrashing Borussia Monchengladbach in their Champion League opener on 14 September. The Citizens now sit pretty on top of the league table with five straight wins, including the one against Jose Mourinho's Manchester United at Old Trafford.

On the back of some inspiring performances from Sergio Aguero, Iheanacho and De Bruyne, Guardiola's men have also romped to their best start in their 136-year history by winning eight consecutive games in all competitions.

Having coached big names in world football over his spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Guardiola asserted De Bruyne is up among the best men he has managed.

"I think Kevin is a special player, An outstanding player. He makes everything. Without the ball, he is a fighter; and with the ball, it is clear what he can do," Guardiola was quoted as saying by Daily Mail Online.

"He is one of the best players I have worked with. When we talk about Messi, he is on his own in the table. It is not allowed, anyone else there. But in the table beside, Kevin can sit there.

"I don't know him too much but he seems to be a guy who likes to be at home with his beautiful family and he loves training. Before the game he is quite relaxed.

"Of course, he is one of the best, there is no doubt about that. To be the best in the league, it depends if he is going to win the titles.

"There will be big challenges to that. Maybe I think he would like to win individual prizes — because every player does — but I already think he is happy when he plays like today [Satuday]."