Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne has admitted that he is motivated to become the best player in the world and feels that he is "pretty close" to winning the Ballon d'Or.
De Bruyne has not previously earned a top-10 finish in the Ballon d'Or voting, but he has been in inspired form for City this term after an injury-plagued 2018-19 and is among the favourites to win the accolade later this year.
Asked how far off he is from topping the list, De Bruyne told Sky Sports News: "Probably not too far. But who am I to decide that? I just try to be the best I can be. I've been playing well over the last few years and even last season, I had a lot of injuries but the times that I was on the pitch, I was doing OK.
"Even in Germany, I had good years and I felt happy, but who decides that [the best footballers], I don't know, but I think I'm pretty close. It helps [being nominated for the Ballon d'Or], but first and foremost is team performance. I know if the team performs well and I perform with them, I will get the accolades.
"Over the last few years, I've been in contention for the top 30 in the world and it feels good because you work very hard in your profession and to be acknowledged as being really good at what you do is always nice to hear.
"It gives me the motivation to stay there and be on top for as long as I can because [playing] football is for a short period of time and I just want to be the best version of what I can be. What that is, I don't know, but every year is different and this year went really well for me."
De Bruyne is expected to be named in Man City's starting lineup on Sunday as they take on Aston Villa in the EFL Cup final.