As the award ceremony approaches, Arsenal favourite and now Monaco manager Thierry Henry has been asked for his thoughts on who he believes to be deserved of this year’s Ballon d’Or (SkySports).
"I think it would be a shame if a French player does not win the Ballon d'Or, apart from Eden Hazard because he was extraordinary at every World Cup match - defensively and on the counter-attack."
Henry was, of course, on the Belgium sidelines in the coaching staff of Roberto Martinez before taking the main job at Ligue 1 side AS Monaco. Eden Hazard was part of the squad to travel to Russia, eventually finishing first.
Following the World Cup, Henry recently took over the Monaco role from Leonardo Jardim. He has yet to record a win with the Monégasques as manager.
In regards to his choice for the Ballon d’or, despite his connection to Belgium, Henry however has remained loyal to his nationality;
"Logically, a French player should win. Why not [Raphaël] Varane? He won the Champions League, he was very strong.
"There is the alien (extra-terrestrial) Kylian Mbappé, and also Antoine Griezmann. But I can also mention many players."
Henry himself has marginally been close to picking up the accolade himself during his playing career - coming second to Pavel Nedved in 2003 and third behind Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluigi Buffon in 2006.
The Ballon d’Or is due to be handed out this year on 3rd December in Paris. Real Madrid and Croatia star Luka Modric remains favourite in the betting order - odds on at around ½ - to lift his first.