3 similarities between Eden Hazard and Lionel Messi
When we think of the greatest players to ever play the game Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi come to mind. Both footballers are at a level which has not been achieved by any other peer. Having said that Messi and Ronaldo have different styles. Both impact the game in their own way and while there are a few similarities, they have largely different games.
Eden Hazard is one player who may never reach the heights of Messi or Ronaldo but has a similar game to the Argentine genius. His unselfishness coupled with his dribbling style makes him a joy to watch, much like Messi.
Driblab compiled an experiment across 71,600 players, 2,300 teams and 73,000 games to see which player is most similar to Lionel Messi. The results showed it was Eden Hazard who had a similarity level of 92.7%. The study included parameters such as participation in the play, goals scored per shots taken, expected goals per game, shots taken, touches in the opposition's box, expected assists per game, key passes, times the ball is lost, pressing, and completed shots.
In this article, I talk about three similarities between the Belgian and Argentine wizards.
#1 Unselfish Football
Many fans may accuse players like Robben, Neymar or even Ronaldo for their selfishness at times. That is not necessarily a bad thing has all those players have incredible finishing. Having said that Messi and Hazard are very unselfish players. They have high assist tallies, but more importantly create a lot of chances for their teammates.
Furthermore, they are willing passers and have a knack for creating chances. While Messi may be better than Hazard at the final ball, one cannot discount Hazard's greatness.
Hazard, in fact, has gotten criticism for being too unselfish at times.
This video below showcases some of Messi's most unselfish plays.
#2 Dribbling styles
There are a lot of great dribblers and Messi is arguably on top of that list. His ability to change direction, turn, and stop at will is second to none. Furthermore he does not go down on tackles and tries to stay on his feet for as long as he can. Eden Hazard is made from the same cloth.
Players like Neymar, Bale, Mbappe, Robben and Ribery are all great dribblers, but Hazard, due to his height and acceleration, comes closest to Messi. Furthermore Hazard may be the best player in the world, when it comes to turning with the ball. This video from Neymartive showcases the same.
#3 Humble personality
Messi and Hazard are both extremely humble. Hazard is cheeky and gives a fun-loving vibe. Messi seems to be really relaxed and calm. Both players are very elegant on the field and seem the same off it too.
While Neymar and Ronaldo are flashy both on and off the pitch, Hazard and Messi are quiet and reserved. This may make Neymar and Ronaldo more marketable than Hazard. However, Messi being one of the greatest to ever play the game, is not impacted by this.