Eden Hazard is confident he can one day land the Ballon d’Or playing for Chelsea, but accepts he may have to wait for perennial winners Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to retire.
Ronaldo and Messi have combined to win the last nine but Hazard has made a strong case for consideration for the 2017 prize by playing a key role in Chelsea’s bid to land the Premier League title – a quest that will be completed with victory at West Brom on Friday.
And the 26-year-old Belgium playmaker is optimistic his chances will not be harmed by playing in the Premier League.
He told Sky Sports: “I hope to win the Ballon d’Or one day. It’s in my mind.
“If I don’t, it won’t be a problem. I try to make a good career – the best I can – but I think some other players deserve to win it also.
“When Ronaldo and Messi retire, maybe it will be another couple of players like Neymar, Paulo Dybala or Antoine Griezmann, who knows? We will see. It’s not something I think too much about.
“Could I win it? If I play next season, we win the Champions League and I win the World Cup with Belgium, why not?
“In the last 10 years, the Ballon d’Or winners play in Spain, but it’s not automatic. If a player is better in England, he will win it.”
Hazard is hoping Antonio Conte’s men can further his cause by wrapping up the title at The Hawthorns before parading the trophy in front of their fans in next Sunday’s finale at home to already relegated Sunderland.
He added: “We want to celebrate on Friday, then come back to Stamford Bridge and celebrate with the fans.
“We just need to win the game. We all know if we win, we will be champions, so maybe we have a lot of pressure, but we are almost there.
“For me, it’s the same [feeling as when we won the title two years ago].
“The target is always to win trophies. The feeling is always a good one. Two years ago to now, we have one thing in common, which is to win.”
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