Hazard needs to claim trophy to enhance Ballon d'Or chances - Conte


Eden Hazard's chances of winning a maiden Ballon d'Or will depend on success at team level, according to his club manager Antonio Conte.

Chelsea and Belgium playmaker Hazard ranked 19th in the 2017 award - won for a fifth time by Cristiano Ronaldo on Thursday, thanks largely to his performances in Real Madrid's run to the Champions League and LaLiga titles.

Although Hazard played a significant role in Chelsea's Premier League success last season, Conte believes only players with continental or global success are given serious consideration.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's trip across London to face struggling West Ham, he said: "I'm surprised. I'm repeating always the same concept: if you want to win the Ballon d'Or, you have to win the league, the Champions League, the World Cup, the European Championship.

"It's important to have great wins. For sure Eden is a young player and he has the potential to improve his place in this table. At the same time I like to repeat that if you want to reach the best you have to win. Last season we won the league. Maybe two years ago, Hazard wasn't in the table.

"A top player must have this ambition. It's normal. Otherwise you stay with the others in the middle. He has real potential to become one of the best. But he has to win [trophies]."

Chelsea head into the weekend in third place having won six of their previous seven Premier League games and will hope to edge closer to the top two, who meet in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford.

He added: "Every game you must try to win. Tomorrow it won't be easy, it's a London derby and we must pay great attention.

"This weekend there will be a derby in Manchester and for this reason we must try to win the game."

Conte is not expecting an easy afternoon at London Stadium, however, despite West Ham's position in the relegation zone.

"It's a bit strange to see them in this position in the table. For sure they have the potential to do better. I hope not from tomorrow, but after our game. For sure this team is a really good team with good players," he said.

"West Ham have a good squad, good players. To see them in this position is a bit strange.

"For this reason we have to try to win the game. It won't be easy against West Ham. The last game against Manchester City, they struggled a lot before winning the game against them."

Chelsea will be without David Luiz, whose knee injury remains without a timetable, and Danny Drinkwater, who is ill.