The Argentine is in the running for a fourth successive award, which would beat the three given to Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten.
“I’m sure he will surpass the record,” said Platini at UEFA headquarters. “I don’t whether it will be this year or next, but he will get the fourth and overtake Cruyff, Van Basten and me.”
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Since Guus Hiddink arrived at the helm, Chelsea have improved considerably after a tricky start to the campaign.
Newcastle United are staring down the barrel of relegation to the Championship for the second time in the past eight years.