Rio Ferdinand hails Kevin De Bruyne as ‘best midfielder in the world’ after Real Madrid victory

De Bruyne scored his 50th goal for City against Madrid (Picture: Getty Images)

Rio Ferdinand rates Kevin De Bruyne as the ‘best midfielder in the world’ after captaining Manchester City to a 2-1 win over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Belgium international converted the winning penalty to give Pep Guardiola’s side a good chance of progressing to the next stage of the Champions League.

City went a goal down on the hour mark through Isco, but a header from Gabriel Jesus drew the Manchester club back to 1-1.

Just five minutes later, substitute Raheem Sterling was fouled in the box by Madrid defender Dani Carvajal, and De Bruyne tucked away his 50th goal for Manchester City to seal the victory.

After the game, Manchester United legend Ferdinand told BT Sport: ‘He [De Bruyne] is the best midfielder in the world right now.

Guardiola has not won a Champions League trophy since 2011 (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I don’t think there’s anyone near him in terms of what he can do.

‘He does everything, in terms of his athleticism, running away from people, his pass appreciation.

‘His decision making in the final third, 99 per cent of the time he gets it right.’

Spanish boss Guardiola made the shock decision to set up his side in a 442 formation, with De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva deployed as strikers.

The Belgian midfielder admitted to BT Sport after the game: ‘In four years with Pep, he sometimes surprises. Sometimes players aren’t told until the game what we need to do. There were some good and some lesser moments.’

City now take their 2-1 advantage back to the Etihad Stadium for the second leg of their last-16 tie on March 17.

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