One of the most prestigious awards in the world of soccer is about to be presented. Ballon d’Or award ceremony will take place in Paris, on December the 3rd, and as this date approaches, speculations about the possible winner are emerging on the surface.
There are many players in combination for the award, but just a few names do have realistic prospects to reach this piece of silverware. Eden Hazard is one of them.
The Belgian international had an excellent season, and despite not winning a single trophy, Hazard is among the best players in the world. His influence on Chelsea’s performances and results of the Belgian national team is simply immeasurable. But the 27-year old thinks that he doesn’t deserve to win this year’s Ballon d’Or.
“I don’t deserve the Ballon d’Or. I think there are players who have been better than me. Even if I have played very well this year, I’m not getting carried away,” he said.
But the next few lines of his interview were something which set fire on the internet and among the soccer fans all around the world. The Belgian midfielder said that in his opinion, Kylian Mbappe should receive this award before Luka Modric. And he has an explanation for that claim.
“I would have said Luka Modric, but he plays a little less well since August or September, so if we take into account the beginning of the season, I would say Kylian Mbappe.” Hazard stated.
And really if we take the performances from this season into consideration, there is no doubt that Mbappe has the edge over Modric. The young Frenchman scored 13 goals in the same number of games, while Modric failed to provide anything but three assists in 16 matches in all competitions since the campaign began. Additionally, his Real Madrid is in awful condition, with Julen Lopetegui being sacked not so long ago, and losing 5-1 to Barcelona in El Clasico. Therefore, Hazard’s logic does make sense.
Now, about his plans for the future Ballon d’Or ceremonies doesn’t necessarily include winning the trophy. According to his words, all that matters to him is to have fun.
“The goal for me is not to have the Ballon d’Or, it is to maximize fun on the pitch. If I win it one day, so much the better, if I don’t, it will not be a problem.”
The upcoming spectacle will be different when compared to the previous ones. For the first time in the last ten years, the winner is not going to be Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. These two won five times each.
According to experts and the bookies, Luka Modric has the highest chances to come out first after voting. The Croatian player led Real Madrid to their third consecutive Champions League title, and was masterful while playing for the national team who reached to the finals of the World Cup in Russia.
Mbappe on the other side, won the World Cup and the French Ligue 1. He is projected as the second favorite for the award. The 19-year old, broke numerous records over the past two years, in both club and international categories, setting the bar for future teenagers way higher than any player before him did.
Antoine Griezmann is the third favorite. And we need to say that his stats are at least equal as Modric’s or Mbappe’s if not better. Atletico Madrid won the Europa League, with him being named the best player of that competition by numerous organizations. His contribution to the team at the World Cup was probably bigger than any other player’s in the French squad, except maybe N’Golo Cante’s.
The voting is going to be close, but one thing is sure. Whoever wins this award, definitely deserved it.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write, read, and bet on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a betting tips writer at WagerBop.