John Hartson agrees with the opinion that five-time Ballon d'Or winner and reigning World Player of the Year Lionel Messi is the best player in world football.
Regarding the beautiful game's second best performer, it would have come as little surprise if the proud Welshman gave this status to Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez, Neymar, Andres Iniesta or his compatriot Gareth Bale.
However, there is one Premier League star who Hartson rates above those La Liga superstars and he actually feels that this player is currently the second best in the world, only behind Messi.
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Speaking to BT Sport, Hartson claimed, via Goal: "I think (Kevin) de Bruyne at the moment is the second best player in the world behind Messi.
"Tell me who's playing better than him in world football at the moment. Bale's not. Suarez has been quiet lately. De Bruyne, just in behind Messi, is the best in the world right now."
Fans react on Twitter
News of Hartson's somewhat over-the-top comments spread throughout the day and, predictably, football fans took to Twitter to ridicule the 41-year-old in brutal fashion, some of which you can see below:
Sensational de Bruyne
Whilst Hartson may have gone slightly too far with his praise for the Manchester City man, there is no doubt that the Belgian playmaker has been in outstanding form this season.
Despite injury problems, he's registered three goals and six assists in all competitions since Pep Guardiola arrived and established himself alongside Mesut Ozil and Philippe Coutinho as one of the best attacking midfielders in English football.
The 25-year-old starred in the stunning midweek win over Barcelona in Champions League and he produced a ridiculously good cross to set up Sergio Aguero's opener in the 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough on Saturday.
What do YOU make of Hartson's opinion on De Bruyne? Who are the very best players in the world? Have YOUR say in the comments box below!
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