Real Madrid honorary president Alfredo Di Stefano has backed Arsenal striker Thierry Henry to succeed Michael Owen as European Footballer of the Year.

Di Stefano, winner of the award in 1957 and 1959, was quoted in Madrid sports daily As as saying: ?In my opinion Arsenal’s Henry is playing the best football in Europe at the moment.

?I also believe he has been the best player in Europe for some time now.?

Despite Di Stefano?s comments, Real Madrid?s Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos remain the favourites to collect the award.

Ronaldo is also favourite to win WorldSoccer?s World Player of the Year and FIFA?s World Footballer of the Year awards over the next fortnight.

The winners of World Soccer?s awards will be announced on this site on Thursday December 12.