Eden Hazard has confidently backed himself to win the prestigious Ballon d'Or award - and doesn't think he has to leave Chelsea to do so.
The Blues playmaker was speaking in the wake of Chelsea's 2016/17 Premier League title triumph, as has helped Antonio Conte's men recover from an abject 2015/16 campaign to pick up their fifth Premier League crown since Roman Abramovich acquired the club in 2003.
Real Madrid and Barcelona superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have dominated first place at the Ballon d'Or over the past nine seasons but, in a chat with Sky Sports, Hazard was fairly bullish in his explanation as to why he could end that monopoly at the top.
He said: "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. 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."
Hazard has been back to his mercurial best for Chelsea this term after a extremely sub-par season last time out. The Belgium international's haul of 15 and five assists in England's top flight has helped to erase the criticism from 12 months ago and aided Conte's side in clinching yet another league crown.
The 26-year-old has consistently been linked with a switch to La Liga with Real Madrid throughout the campaign - speculation that has left Chelsea fans a tad worried about where their talisman will ply his trade next term.
However, Hazard's latest comments would suggest that the ex-Lille man will still be at Stamford Bridge next season to help Chelsea attempt to retain the trophy.
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