BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Chelsea’s Eden Hazard believes he may need to join a Spanish club in order to be crowned the world’s best player, but he ruled out a move in the January transfer window.
The Belgium international’s contract with Chelsea runs until June 2020 and the London club want him to renew his deal. Hazard, however, has said it is his dream to play for Real Madrid.
Asked on Thursday whether he needed to play in Spain to win the Ballon d’Or, awarded annually to the world’s best player, a smiling Hazard responded: “That’s why I want to go, maybe.”
Yet the winger, who is on international duty with Belgium, added that he would not be moving in January.
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and former Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo have won the Ballon d’Or for the last nine years while playing for Spanish clubs.
Ronaldo was the last player from outside of Spain to win the award when he was at Manchester United in 2008.
Hazard has been in scintillating form for Chelsea this season and is the Premier League’s top scorer with seven goals.
Belgium play Switzerland in the UEFA Nations League on Friday, before hosting the Netherlands in a friendly on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Clement Rossignol, writing by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Toby Davis)