Eden Hazard opens up on being considered one of the best in the world, says he will never be equal to Messi or Ronaldo
What's the story?
Chelsea star Eden Hazard has opened up about being considered one of the best players in football at the moment, stating that despite the comparisons, he will never come close to Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.
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Despite having been questioned on his consistency to perform, Hazard has been in phenomenal form for the Blues this season.
After helping his country to a third-place finish at the FIFA World Cup last year, the Belgian forward returned to the Premier League with exceeded expectations.
The 28-year-old has netted 10 league goals and registered 10 assists, to become the only player besides Barcelona's Messi to have both scored and assisted 10 or more goals in the top five European leagues this season.
The heart of the matter
Hazard has now opened up about what it is like to be included in the FIFA FIFPro World XI 2018 at the Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony last September.
Speaking to HLN in an interview, the Belgian forward said:
"I have the feeling that even with me the ‘yes, but’ remark is gone. Every year there was somebody who said: Eden is close to the level of Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. First Jose Mourinho, then Antonio Conte, now Maurizio Sarri. I will never become a Messi or a Ronaldo, but since the World Cup everyone immediately says top-5 in the world when my name is mentioned. Before it was maybe top-10, top-15, top-20."
"I feel that the people now are saying ‘wow’. As Luka Modric gained respect with Croatia, I did that with the Belgians. (sighs) Recognition is nice, but all players in the top-20, except for two maybe, are so close to each other in terms of quality. All top players. And everything is decided on details. Glory at the World Cup, a win in the Champions League, 25 goals here, 25 assists there. It all influences the ranking, but the difference between the players isn’t that big."
Hazard's Chelsea currently sit at fourth place, ten points behind table-toppers Liverpool and six ahead of 5th placed Arsenal. They will look to bridge the gap at the top when they face Arsenal on Saturday.