Antonio Conte judges Cristiano Ronaldo warranting of The Best FIFA Men’s Player for 2016, and dreams of seeing one of his Chelsea standouts lift the award in the future. The 31-year-old is competing for the prize along with Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi.

“I think Ronaldo deserves it,” Conte said of the player who won the UEFA Champions League and UEFA EURO this year. The Real Madrid No7 is currently in Japan aiming to lift the FIFA Club World Cup Trophy for a third time.

The Premier League had, along with La Liga, a joint-high ten representatives on the initial 23-man list for The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016 honour. N’Golo Kante was Chelsea’s solitary nominee, but the likes of Eden Hazard and Diego Costa have been in supreme form in recent months.

“Ronaldo and Messi divide these awards every year,” said Conte. “In the future there will be others to replace these two great players. I hope there can be [a Chelsea winner] because it means we will have a fantastic player. I hope this can happen in the future.”

The Best FIFA Men’s Player will be crowned at The Best FIFA Football Awards™ ceremony in Zurich on 9 January 2017.