Orlando City playmaker Kaka believes his former Real Madrid team-mate Mesut Ozil has all the necessary attributes to one day win the FIFA Ballon d'Or award, but warned the Arsenal midfielder that there are a number of different factors that come into consideration when deciding on a suitable recipient for the prestigious individual accolade.
The 2007 winner - who now enjoys his football in North America in Major League Soccer - heaped praise on the 26-year-old for the level of performance he's managed to maintain during his time at the Emirates Stadium, and although he's perhaps been outshone by the arrival of summer signing Alexis Sanchez this season is still appreciated by those within the game.
“He’s an amazing player,” confirmed Kaka in an interview with Sky Sports. “He’s so smart, so intelligent. The time we played together was amazing. We had a very good relationship on and off the field.
“He can do a lot of things with Arsenal, [but] to win the Ballon d’Or doesn’t just depend on him. It depends on a lot of other things. You have to win a lot of things to arrive at that award.”
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is under no illusion about how important Ozil is to his team, and that's reflected by the fact he's been a virtual ever-present in the starting XI since returning from injury earlier this year.
The Germany international has started 17 of the past 18 games which has coincided with a significant upturn in form for Arsenal, who recorded eight consecutive victories in the Premier League before being held to a goalless draw with newly crowned champions Chelsea.
Their impressive run of form has all but confirmed qualification for the Champions League next season via a top four finish, and with a game in hand over Manchester City in second place the Gunners are now favourites to secure that runner-up spot.
A 3-1 victory over Hull City at the KC Stadium on Monday night moved Wenger's side back level on points with the Citizens, and with games against Swansea City, Manchester United, Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion still to come they'll fancy their chances of usurping Manuel Pellegrini's men between now and May 24.
Once the bread and butter business of the league is finished attention will swiftly turn to their FA Cup final showdown against Aston Villa at Wembley, where the Gunners will be looking to win that trophy for a second consecutive season.
Victory will add some much-needed silverware to the north London club's trophy cabinet and could also help strengthen Ozil's case for individual recognition at the FIFA Ballon d'Or awards at the end of the year.
Arsenal fans: Do you think Mesut Ozil is a realistic candidate to win the FIFA Ballon d'Or award at some point in the future? Have your say below...