Thomas Tuchel has dismissed the importance of the Ballon d’Or, despite five of his Chelsea stars having been included in the 30-man list of nominees.
The individual accolade – awarded annually to the world’s best player – will be announced in late November, with the list of nominees having only recently been confirmed.
Since 2008, the award has largely been shared between the remarkable duo of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, with Luka Modric the only player to have broken up that dominance after claiming the trophy in 2018.
A new winner could well be announced this year, with the Blues having a strong chance of seeing one of their first-team stars crowned as the best in the world, after Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante, Romelu Lukaku, Cesar Azpilicueta all having made the 30 man shortlist.
While their inclusion is a marker of the club’s fine form over the past year, which culminated in a Champions League triumph last season, manager Tuchel has seemingly dismissed the award and insisted that their achievements last term were a ‘team effort.
“Do you believe me if I tell you that I don’t even know who it is on the list?” he said at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Brentford.
Chelsea Men’s and Women’s have more Ballon d'Or nominations than any other team in the world (10) 🔵 pic.twitter.com/jXy96mLImn
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 14, 2021
“I’m not into these single, individual awards. I believe this is a team effort. I believe what we did last season, for these players on the list, was a team effort.”
The German went on to insist that it was the all-round team performance that allowed the individuals to shine.
“We were more than just single players, we were a team, a group of friends almost. It felt like it,” he added.
“We were a strong club and the guys were a strong team in every single game.
“That gave us the possibility to reach a big final and win it, and this gives us the possibility to have players on this list of 30 incredible names.”