Fabregas: Hazard can match Messi

Cesc Fabregas believes Chelsea teammate Eden Hazard can reach the level of his former Barcelona colleague Lionel Messi, ESPN has reported.

Hazard was named PFA Player of the Year as he inspired the Blues to the Premier League title, scoring the goal that clinched the silverware in the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace. Hazard saw his penalty saved by Julian Speroni but converted the rebound with a header to give Chelsea the three points required to see off the lingering challenge of Arsenal and Manchester City.

Fabregas was asked by reporters if the Belgium international can come close to emulating the feats of Argentina star Messi, he replied in the affirmative. “He can be one of those for sure. He can be up there [with Messi],” the Spain international said. “He’s had a fantastic season, I just want for him to do it again next year and to be even better.

“He’s the main guy,” Fabregas continued. “In my mind he is the guy that makes this team better than it is. Next year he has to prove himself in the Champions League as well because he is capable of that, and I am sure he will give many big nights of glory to this club.”

Fabregas spent three years at Barcelona, between 2011 and 2014, having quit the Nou Camp for Arsenal when a teenager. He spent eight years with the Gunners before returning to Catalonia, where he made 151 appearances ahead of a switch to Chelsea, for whom he has played 45 times in all competitions, scoring five goals.

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