Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount has admitted it was a "dream" to be nominated for the 2021 Ballon d'Or.
Mount has enjoyed a terrific year, helping the Blues reach the Champions League final - where they beat Manchester City 1-0 thanks to a Kai Havertz strike - and also featuring prominently as England lost in the Euro 2020 final on penalties.
His displays saw him shortlisted for the Ballon d'Or, alongside several of his Chelsea teammates. As well as Mount, N'Golo Kante, Jorginho, Cesar Azpilicueta and Romelu Lukaku also received nominations.
"It was special, I probably found out at exactly the same time as everyone else. So to see that and to see the names, it obviously a dream," he told reporters.
"I think for all the years that you work hard and you dedicate, to see something like that, it shows that everything pays off. It's just the start - it doesn't stop now."
As well as the Chelsea quartet, the likes of Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski and Kevin De Bruyne also saw themselves shortlisted for the gong.
Messi and Lewandowski are expected to battle it out for the prize, although there have been calls for Jorginho to be recognised after he won both the Champions League and European Championship in 2021.
Kante, who seriously impressed in the UCL final, is also in with an outside chance, as is the incredibly consistent Karim Benzema.
Against this stiff competition, Mount laughed off his chances of becoming the first English Ballon d'Or winner since Michael Owen won the prize in 2001.
"I doubt it, but you never know!" he added.
"The most important thing for me is that I continue to hit the levels that I've set before and go even further. That's always been my mentality and hopefully that continues."