Mason Mount has spoken about the ‘special’ moment of finding out he was one of five Chelsea players on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or.
The 22-year-old has been nominated for the award for the first time in his career, after playing an influential role in Chelsea winning the Champions League last season.
Mount only missed two Premier League games for the Blues last season and has featured in 35 of head coach Thomas Tuchel’s 41 games in charge.
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‘It was special. I found out when everyone else did. To see that, the names, to be alongside those names it's obviously a dream,’ Mount said ahead of England’s World Cup qualifier against Hungary at Wembley tonight.
‘For all the years you work hard, dedicate, and see something like that, it shows that everything pays off. It's just the start. It doesn’t stop now.
‘I doubt it, but you never know,’ Mount said, laughing, when asked if he fancies his chances of winning the coveted award.
‘The most important thing for me is that I continue to keep trying to hit the levels I have set before and go even further. That’s always been my mentality and hopefully that continues.’
Mount was also influential in England’s Euro 2020 campaign, starting in all but two of the Three Lions’ matches.
When asked about the atmosphere in Budapest in the reverse fixture, in which England won 4-0, Mount admitted the England team thrived off the hostile atmosphere in the stadium.
‘It’s up there with one of the best atmospheres I’ve been involved in,’ said the midfielder. ‘To be in an away game and have everyone against you, as a team you can thrive off that.
‘The way we played and the result we got showed the confidence we had in ourselves, and the togetherness we had throughout the game. That experience definitely made us stronger as a team.’
Mount missed out on a double trophy-lifting summer by the slightest of margins when Italy defeated England on penalties in the final, and the midfielder acknowledged it has taken time to recover both physically and mentally.
‘I would love a major tournament every summer, but after the Euros and what we went through it did take longer. You do reflect on how it went, what we did as a team,’ Mount said.
‘Me personally you look at your game. It was such a big heartbreak for us to go all the way and fall at the final hurdle. It was a difficult one.
‘We are footballers. We have to look at the next goal and the next challenge that’s up. We had a break, I don’t know how long it was. It wasn’t too long, but you have it to get away from football and relax, and then you’re straight back at it in pre-season.
‘If you look at the players we have got [at England], the leaders wouldn’t let that mentality drop at all. As a group, we set that standard so high, we don’t want to ever drop below that.’