Arsene Wenger has made no secret of the fact he doesn’t particularly like the Ballon d’Or.
“I would not vote for any Ballon d’Or,” Wenger was quoted as saying by the Guardian 12 months ago. “I’m totally against it. I’m a team lover and a specialist of somebody who loves team work. I’m completely against it. I would not vote for anybody.”
However, one suspects the Frenchman’s opinion of world football’s most coveted individual accolade might change - slightly, at least - if one of his Arsenal stars were to win the award.
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Ahead of Monday night’s Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich, Wenger was asked if Mesut Ozil could potentially land his hands on the award next year.
“I wish,” he was quoted as saying by Goal. “But what is important, we are in a team sport.”
He added: “It is not logical just for individual effort to be praised. It is a bit contradictory to what is the route of our sport.”
Ozil is producing the goods for Arsenal
Ozil has been Arsenal’s standout performer this season, having registered 16 assists during the first half of the campaign, and arguably the best player in the Premier League.
The technically-gifted German playmaker has found his feet at the Emirates Stadium following two unconvincing seasons with the north London outfit and is now replicating the performances that made him a household name at Real Madrid.
If Ozil plays a key role in helping Arsenal end their long wait for a Premier League title then his odds of winning the 2016 Ballon d’Or will improve significantly.
He can further enhance his chances of winning the award by also inspiring Germany to victory at the European Championships in France this summer.
Ozil dreams of winning Ballon d'Or
“When I was a kid I dreamed of winning the Ballon d’Or,” Ozil was quoted as saying by The Sun last year. “I still have that dream.”
If he can continue his current rich vein of form then don’t rule it out just yet.
Can Mesut Ozil win the Ballon d’Or in 2016? Have your say by leaving a comment below.