After lifting both the Premier League and Carabao Cup trophies, Kevin De Bruyne ended the 2020/21 season on a high by getting his hands on the PFA Player of the Year award… again.
The Manchester City midfielder was in dazzling form yet again this season, racking up ten goals and 18 assists in all competitions, and there are plenty of individual highlights of his to enjoy.
Let’s take a look at some of the best.
He walked away with a goal and an assist, dragging a weakened City side to an emphatic 3-1 victory.
It was a clear message that De Bruyne was out to defend his PFA crown.
Sure, De Bruyne’s performance in Belgium’s 2-0 win over England might not count in the PFA race, but how can we not talk about this ridiculous display of creativity?
In front of the very people who would go on to vote for him in the award race, De Bruyne unleashed some of the craziest passes you’ll ever see, including a bonkers outside-of-the-boot pass and the tidiest little no-look poke.
That’s just what De Bruyne does.
Pep Guardiola spent a large part of the season looking for someone to help him at striker, where Sergio Aguero was always injured and Gabriel Jesus was underperforming.
In January’s trip to Chelsea, he realised De Bruyne might be the answer.
Given the freedom to drift all over the pitch, the Belgian went hard. He nutmegged Cesar Azpilicueta to set up Phil Foden, thumped his own effort in from close range and could have easily bumped up his numbers with other chances too.
De Bruyne bagged his 100th City assist in January’s 4-0 win over Crystal Palace, and it just might have been his best ever.
From the right wing, De Bruyne decided he no longer cared about the laws of physics as he curled in a ridiculous outside-of-the-boot cross which landed perfectly on the head of John Stones, who simply had to steer the ball into the back of the net.
He ended the season on 107 assists for City, just 21 behind David Silva in the all-time assist charts.
By this point, De Bruyne was making a mockery of English football. We’d just had the Chelsea dominance and the Palace wizardry, and February brought us a ridiculous assist against West Ham.
From all of 40 yards out, De Bruyne decided to whip in a devilish cross which picked out Ruben Dias with the kind of precision that shouldn’t even be possible from that range.
The pass wasn’t even on when he had the ball at his feet, he just couldn’t be bothered waiting for a chance and decided to force one himself.
Known more for his assists than his goals, De Bruyne switched the record and made sure his strike stole the show against Borussia Monchengladbach in March.
Already 2-0 up from the first leg, City wanted an early goal here just to give them some more control, and De Bruyne provided that with a 20-yard thunderbolt.
Everything about this goal was perfect: a first-time shot, on his weak foot, in off the bar, on the European stage. Take a bow.
The fact that two Leicester defenders hopelessly fling themselves to the ground in an attempt to stop this De Bruyne pass makes it so much better.
The Belgian weighted it perfectly and put it in the only spot in which the Leicester defenders couldn’t stop it, and his team-mates almost ruined it for him.
Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling did their best to mess up the move, but they eventually fumbled it home to ensure this De Bruyne pass got the credit it deserved.
City had to work hard to bring their beloved Carabao Cup back to the Etihad, and it was a moment of magic from De Bruyne which decided the day.
With nine minutes to go, De Bruyne floated in a perfect free-kick which gave Aymeric Laporte no choice but to head home the winning goal against Tottenham.
It was his first assist in the competition this season, but better late than never.
Listen, we’re not going to pretend that De Bruyne meant to score this. It was obviously a cross, but he put it in that kind of position that just demands chaos.
He knew exactly what he was doing with this cross. It was intended for Stones at the back post, but it was delivered with such whip and precision that it didn’t even need a touch to cause problems.
Defenders hate that kind of pass, and it left Keylor Navas completely flustered. It’s a clear mistake from the PSG goalkeeper, but one that was forced by an excellent pass.
The visit of Everton on the final day of the season was one big part for City, and De Bruyne kicked off the festivities with a screamer of a strike.
De Bruyne needed just one touch to control the ball mid-run, dropping it in a position which allowed him to glide up and thunder home a glorious opening goal.
He added a routine assist for Jesus just a few minutes later, capping off a perfect day with a perfect performance.