Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola has snubbed Ballon d’Or frontrunner Virgil van Dijk by claiming a former Chelsea star “deserves” the award.
Zola spent the autumn of his career at Stamford Bridge between 1996-2003 in a seven-year spell that yielded six major trophies.
The Italian retains a special place in Chelsea fans’ hearts, perhaps explaining his latest decision to back a former Blue for the upcoming 2019 Ballon d’Or award.
Liverpool defensive colossus Virgil van Dijk is the current overwhelming favourite with the bookies, and despite recently being backed by Jurgen Klopp for the gong, Zola believes ex-Chelsea talisman Eden Hazard should be the player recognised instead.
The Belgian forward finished the season strongly with Chelsea, but has so far struggled to make an impact in Madrid following his blockbuster move to the Bernabeu in the summer.
The 28-year-old would be a surprise winner if recognised given his relatively lowly position in the bookmakers eyes, with odds as high as 500/1 with some.