Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has said that Eden Hazard is one of the three best players in the world right now, and even claims that the Belgian was better than Cristiano Ronaldo last term, the Daily Express reports.
Hazard was a key component of Chelsea’s successful title challenge in 2014/15, and his form was rewarded by being handed the PFA Player of the Year award at the end of the campaign as well as a long term contract worth £200,000-per-week (via Daily Mail).
And Mourinho firmly believes that the 24-year-old has moved ahead of the Real Madrid megastar in the race for the Ballon d’Or.
“Messi won the treble. He won three competitions last year, he reached the Copa America final. He had a fantastic season for him and his team. I don’t like players or managers to win individual trophies without the team,” Mourinho said.
“Last season, yes [Hazard was better than Ronaldo], in spite of the fact that Ronaldo was fantastic. He was fantastic. He scored an incredible number of goals.
“I am not saying he is not fantastic. I am just saying that, in my personal view, every football player in the world should understand that a team has to be in front and no titles.
“Eden is coming with big status now and was voted one of the top 10 players in Europe last year. In my opinion he should be in the top three not in the top 10.
“I think Eden is the best player in our country. The best player in England. [The Football Writers Association] voted him too, the best player in the Premier League. As the Premier League is the top competition in the world, I think he is among the top players.”
Last season Hazard contributed a total of 19 goals in 52 appearances across all competitions, while Ronaldo bagged 61 in 54 games. Aside from the Portuguese international’s output in front of goal, the only real difference is that Chelsea ended the campaign with some silverware.
However, what’s really funny, is that Gareth Bale, who was so roundly lambasted by the Madrid fans last term, ended his own season with 17 goals in 48 games. Many will argue that the Premier League is more competitive than La Liga, and there’s no denying that Hazard did enjoy a strong season, but judging by numbers alone, he still has some way to go to catch up with Messi and Ronaldo.
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