Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard has said that one of Liverpool trio Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah or Virgil van Dijk deserve to win this year's Ballon d'Or - but that it's the Senegalese who deserves it most.
Hazard came up against the Reds with Chelsea on three occasions last season, taking a front-row seat as they hauled in a remarkable 97 points in the Premier League before winning the Champions League.
The impressive nature of Liverpool's 2018/19 season, coupled with their start to this season that has seen them open up an eight-point gap at the top of the Premier League, means that a host of their top stars are in contention for the Ballon d'Or, which will be awarded next week.
But while Lionel Messi remains the frontrunner to win the award for a record sixth time, Hazard has said that it's a Liverpool player who deserves it this time around - saying that he would 'love' either Mané or his good friend Salah to take the award home.
“I’ll give it to a Liverpool player,” he told Le Parisien. “Mane, Salah or van Dijk deserve it. If Sadio had won the African Cup of Nations with Senegal, there would have been no debate.
“It would be nice if he had it. Or Momo [Salah], who is a friend of mine. It would be good for African football and for English football.”
The winner of the 2019 award will be announced on December 2 in Paris, with Van Dijk being touted as the main rival to Messi.
The Argentine netted 51 goals in 50 games as Barcelona stormed to another La Liga title last season, but his side were famously eliminated from the Champions League at the hands of the Reds at the semi-final stage.