Chelsea v West Ham: Jose Mourinho tips Eden Hazard to challenge Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for Ballon d'Or
Chelsea manager tips the Belgian to be among the world's best in near future
Wednesday 29 January 2014
The Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, believes it is only a matter of time before Eden Hazard is seriously challenging Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the Ballon d'Or.
Hazard, who joined Chelsea from Lille for £32m in 2012, has thrived under Mourinho this term and is the club's leading scorer with 11 goals. He was named in the 23-man shortlist for this year's award, voted for by coaches, national captains and media, which was won by Ronaldo this month.
"If he wants to be a great, great player and arrive where Cristiano and Messi arrives, he has the space to go – he's 23, and Cristiano is 28, Messi 26. They are still young players, but a few years older than Eden. So he has space for evolution. I think there's a great ambition for him," Mourinho said.
"Eden is a winger, a pure winger. OK, we are giving him freedom to go to other areas, but he's an attacking winger. If he can be a match-winner, he can go there."
Chelsea will be attempting to secure an eighth successive win, their sixth in the Premier League, at home to West Ham United. Their form is in stark contrast to that of West Ham, who are in the bottom three with just four victories in the top flight all season. But Mourinho is not taking anything for granted.
He added: "I look at West Ham and I see them in trouble in the table, but I look at them and see a difficult match."
Latest in Sport
Manchester City vs Southampton: Frank Lampard shuns the limelight ahead of his Premier League farewell
Francis Coquelin: The would-be Zinedine Zidane now making an impression as Arsenal’s Claude Makelele
Arsenal vs Aston Villa: Gunners snub that redefined Tim Sherwood
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger sets deadline for Theo Walcott contract talks with Liverpool keeping a close eye on his future
- 1 Eurovision 2015: Graham Norton returns with another cutting commentary - his best lines
- 2 Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
- 3 Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take the title from Conchita Wurst
- 4 Mother 'will allow son's circumcision in return for release from prison'
- 5 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland