Eden Hazard does not appear to do self-deprecation. Not that he needs to, after giving further glimpses on Tuesday night of the potential that led his Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, to say that he can emulate Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
He was a standout player in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Galatasaray in the Champions League, helping make the first goal and letting Wesley Sneijder know that Hazard represents the future – and that the Dutchman is fast becoming yesterday’s man.
The 23-year-old Belgian reacted to Mourinho’s claims by saying that it was an “aspiration” to match the two perennial favourites for world player of the year – and an achievable one if he scores more goals.
“It’s an aspiration for me because I watch a lot of games of Ronaldo and Messi, and I try to make the same,” said Hazard, who has 15 goals in all competitions this season. “But I know I want to score more because sometimes I play well, like today, but I don’t score. To be the best player in the world, I have to score more. It’s just in my head. I have to shoot more sometimes. I can make the pass, I can shoot and sometimes I make the pass, but I work on that.”
Hazard will know tomorrow whether he will face Real Madrid’s Ronaldo or Messi, the Barcelona star, in the Champions League quarter-finals, when the draw takes place in Nyon, Switzerland.
And on facing either man, he added: “For me, for a young player, it’s very important because just to be on the pitch with them is good and I try to do well on the pitch with them.”
Meanwhile Didier Drogba, a Chelsea old boy who returned with the Turkish club, likes what he sees of the current incarnation. “They are efficient,” Drogba said. “They are playing well, playing good. I don’t see why Jose cannot make them better and build another great team here, starting with these players.”
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