Mason Mount recently made the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or, proving that the Chelsea and England star is no longer simply loved by his managers but instead admired across Europe
Not long ago, Mason Mount ’s biggest admirers, fortunately for him, tended to be his managers.
Now, that fan club is truly worldwide.
That means some very good judges rank Mount amongst the top thirty players in the world.
And while he won’t be winning the gong this time around, the significance of being nominated is not lost on Mount.
He says: “It is such a special thing. As a kid growing up, you look at the Ballon d’Or and how it is the top of the top from a personal point of view.
“To be nominated in the top 30 in the world is a dream come true.
And it’s special to be among names that I’ve looked up to as a kid. To be alongside them shows that you can never stop working hard.
“And it is just the beginning of a long journey. Once you get that feeling of winning something and performing at the highest level, you gain that extra confidence to help you set new targets.
“That is something I have always done, mentally-wise.
“A Ballon d’Or nomination is one of the best things you can achieve as a player but I want to achieve more and more.”
Mount, 22, is not the only member of Southgate’s squad to be in the Ballon d’Or mix.
And having watched Foden, mostly from the sidelines, give a masterclass in Andorra at the weekend, Mount knows the competition for places in the England starting eleven has not been as fierce for a long, long time.
He says: “I was sitting on the bench up close and personal with it. I know what Phil is about, I’ve played against him many times, not just in a professional game but in the academy as well.
“I know what Phil has got in his locker and to see him do it on the big stage, like he has done so many times, is special.
“The passes he sees, the passes he picks out and the way he moves with the ball, he is a top, top, top player.
“So you know the level we have in this group means that if you drop your standard even a little bit, it’s not going to be accepted. The competition is so high, it is what you want as a player to keep pushing yourself to that next level.”
Mount says: “We have always been humble but, at the same time, massively confident in what we can do.
“We’ve shown in the Euros what we are capable of and now that we have had that experience under our belts, we can keep trying to achieve something massive for the country. That has alway been the goal. To be the best in the world, to win major tournaments.”