Rivaldo Exclusive: De Bruyne can compete for next year's Ballon D'Or

Kevin De Bruyne playing for Man City
De Bruyne can get even better
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Betfair Ambassador Rivaldo tips De Bruyne as a future Ballon D'Or winner, discusses Richarlison's future and explains why it's unfair to compare Rivaldinho to his famous father...

"It isn’t easy to be Rivaldo’s son and sometimes people compare us when that makes no sense. We played in different positions, so those comparisons are simply unreasonable."

Kevin De Bruyne is on the verge of joining football's elite, alongside players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski.

The Manchester City playmaker is excellent at creating goalscoring chances for his teammates and he scores spectacular goals. But I think he could be even more influential around the box and score more himself.

When you're equally dangerous at passing and scoring, you become a more complete player and find yourself in contention for football's major individual honours. If De Bruyne keeps improving, and can avoid getting injured as much as he has done in the past, I think he can be a contender for the Ballon D'Or in 2021.

Ballon D'Or suspension was unlucky for Lewandowski

It was right to decide not to award a Ballon D'Or this season. It's been a weird season in the European leagues, with many matches played behind closed doors and some players - such as those in France's Ligue 1 - seeing their campaigns ending prematurely.

A few players might feel a bit disappointed with the decision and Lewandowski of Bayern Munich is certainly one of them.

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The Polish striker was magnificent as Bayern won their eighth consecutive Bundesliga title, and there is still the Champions League to come, so he was well placed to fight with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the trophy.

For Messi and Ronaldo, it's a lost chance to win another Ballon at a time when their careers are approaching their ending. But it was the right decision to cancel the award this year.

Douglas Costa and Richarlison could both move this summer

Looking at the transfer market, I think Douglas Costa moving from Juventus to Manchester City would be an interesting possibility.

Costa hasn't played too much at Juve and could find a bigger stage to shine at City as it seems the club is trying to sign him. A professional career is so short it will be important for him to find a new club where he can play more regularly. He is a great player, who I really admire.

Another player who might move in the summer is Richarlison. In his case, he has been playing very well at Everton and proving to be their best player, so I imagine that big European clubs are seriously looking at him.

I'm not belittling Everton but I believe Richarlison deserves to play Champions League football. Perhaps this is the moment to take a leap, but first he needs a good offer from a big club.

My son Rivaldinho dreams of playing in Spain

There were recent rumours mentioning that my son Rivaldinho may join a Spanish club soon and I'm happy to see he is being connected to a big league.

At the moment, it is just speculation and there's nothing sealed, but I hope it can happen because it's his dream. At 25, it could be the right moment to take this step as he is reaching his career peak.

He dreams of playing on the same stages where I played, so let's wait for the market and see if something will come up. Currently, he is relaxed and happy in Romania, but a player always looks to improve his conditions and fulfil his dreams.

Of course, it isn't easy to be Rivaldo's son and sometimes people compare us when that makes no sense - and even harms him a little bit. We played in different positions and have distinct styles of play, so those comparisons are simply unreasonable.

It's not easy to follow your father steps, especially when I was in the spotlight worldwide for many years, but he has his own personality and wants to make his own history. He has been working well in the clubs he passed by, scoring some goals and he is a very professional and dedicated kid.

He loves football and perhaps that was inherited from me. I wish all the best to him, not only because of being his father, but also because he is an excellent professional with a big devotion to the game.

Jesus leaves Flamengo for Benfica at the right time

Jorge Jesus left Flamengo this week to return to Portugal and to Benfica, and of course it will be difficult for the players to lose a manager who gave them freedom to show their quality in the games.

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Jesus was the right man in the right moment at Flamengo, as he commanded a great squad full of stars and managed to take total advantage of that, winning many titles in a short time.

Now Flamengo needs to replace him with a manager with similar qualities - experienced and smart - who can motivate them to build on the success they had under Jesus, but it won't be easy.

Jorge Jesus returns to Benfica with the mission of raising the club - winning the Portuguese League, which will involve deposing champions Porto, and sustaining a good campaign in the Champions League.

UEFA Champions League: UEFA Champions League (Winner 2019/2020)

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Saturday 3 August, 1.00pm

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