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'Five minutes before the game he would be playing Mario Kart' – Ex-teammate likens Real Madrid star to Barcelona's Lionel Messi but questions lack of ambition

FC Barcelona v Athletic Club - Supercopa de Espana Final
FC Barcelona v Athletic Club - Supercopa de Espana Final
Sai Teja
ANALYST
Modified 22 Feb 2021
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Real Madrid superstar Eden Hazard has the talent to match Barcelona legend Lionel Messi if he wanted to but doesn't possess the same ambition, according to Filipe Luis.

The Brazilian, who worked alongside the Belgian at Chelsea during his short stay in England, reserved high praise for his natural ability on the ball. The former Atletico Madrid man likened him to Barcelona legend Lionel Messi, saying that Hazard could have rivalled him if he had the same approach to the game as the mercurial Argentine.

Luis believes that the Real Madrid forward is too laidback in his approach, due to which he failed to hit the heights that he could potentially have reached. He said that Hazard would play a game of Mario Kart even up to five minutes before a game and yet would win games of football on his own when he took to the pitch.

Speaking on Hazard, the Brazilian explained;

"Eden [Hazard], along with Neymar, are the best players I have ever played alongside – up there with Lionel Messi. He didn’t train well, five minutes before the game, he would be playing Mario Kart in the dressing room. He would warm-up without tying his boot laces up. Then no-one could take the ball off of him. He would dribble past three or four players and win games on his own."

The ex-Rojiblanco added,

"Hazard has so much talent. Perhaps he lacks a little bit of ambition to say: I am going to be the best player in the world. Because he could be."

The 30-year-old has endured a torrid time in the Spanish capital since his record move to Real Madrid due to injuries and is currently on the treatment table due to a thigh injury.


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Lionel Messi and Eden Hazard's futures in doubt at Barcelona and Real Madrid

Real Madrid v FC Internazionale: Group B - UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid v FC Internazionale: Group B - UEFA Champions League

While Hazard has been likened to Barcelona great Lionel Messi, the harsh truth is that the Belgian has failed to make any sort of a mark at all at Real Madrid since his big-money move. It is possibly only a matter of time before the Blancos run out of patience with the Belgian's recurring injuries seemingly getting worse.

As things stand, Hazard has missed more games for Real Madrid (50!) than he has appearances (35) for them across all competitions. He's managed four goals and seven assists in that period for Zinedine Zidane's men.

There are several rumours regarding a potential exit from Real Madrid, with a recent report claiming that Chelsea are willing to take him back to Stamford Bridge, albeit at a massive discount on the €100m+ paid by Los Blancos.

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Lionel Messi's future at Barcelona, on the other hand, is much more of a delicate and complicated situation.

The legendary forward's contract is set to expire this summer, and he could potentially leave Barcelona on a free transfer. While Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are interested in his services, the Blaugrana still retain some hope of keeping Lionel Messi for longer.

The 33-year-old wanted an exit last summer, but the move couldn't go through due to his staggering €700m release clause at the time. It remains to be seen if Lionel Messi will opt to extend his stay at Barcelona for another season or leave Spain altogether. Should he move to PSG, it could pave the way for Kylian Mbappe to join Real Madrid.


Also read: Manchester City deny making move for Barcelona legend Lionel Messi

Published 22 Feb 2021, 22:13 IST
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