Eden Hazard doesn’t think Cristiano Ronaldo is better at football than him, but acknowledges Lionel Messi as superior to both.
“Cristiano is a more famous player than me, but in terms of pure football, I honestly don’t think so. Neymar maybe. Overall, Cristiano is not better than me. But at Real, he is supported by the best. There are players there with illustrious careers like Benzema, Modric. Kroos or De Bruyne are also great. They bring beauty to football,” Hazard told French newspaper L’Équipe on 3/2.
Ronaldo was disappointed when Portugal was eliminated by Hazard’s Belgium in the eighth round of Euro 2020. Photo: AFP
Hazard emerged for French club Lille before moving to Chelsea in 2012. Here, he became a top star in the Premier League. During seven years with Chelsea, Hazard played 245 matches and scored 85 goals. His form led Real to spend 112 million USD to recruit him in 2019 and pay him a salary of up to 510,000 USD per week.
At Real, Hazard was given the number 7 shirt, aiming to fill the position left by Ronaldo. However, in four years at Real, he only appeared 54 times, scoring four goals. He was constantly injured and overweight. In the summer of 2023, Hazard’s 5-year contract with Real was terminated early. After that, he announced his retirement even though he was only 32 years old.
Not accepting that he is inferior to Ronaldo, Hazard still has respect for Messi. He said: “Personally, Messi is probably unique. I liked watching him play when he was with Barca, less so after that. But Messi is the best player in history. Take the ball away from your feet. It is impossible.”
Immediately after joining Real during the 2019 summer tour in North America, Hazard caused speculation about his weight. According to Diario Sport, the Belgian midfielder is several pounds overweight, leading to ineffective performance in friendly matches. Hazard was then removed from the squad by coach Zinedine Zidane for being too heavy.
Explaining this, Hazard admitted: “I had just finished one of the best seasons of my career at Chelsea. At that time, I thought to myself, ‘Now that I have come to Real, this could be my last vacation’. Seven years in England, I never had a Christmas break. So I started spending three or four weeks continuously eating grilled meat and drinking wine. That was my way of refreshing myself to start again, but when I arrived at Real, everything fell apart.”
Hazard has been criticized for being lazy, but he affirms that in his 16-year career, he has never neglected to practice. The former player born in 1991 admitted that there were times when he went to the training field with insomnia and lack of interest and was not afraid to show it. “There were days when I didn’t move for an hour and refused to receive the ball from my teammates,” he said.
Hazard also admitted that he never felt he was suitable to play for Real. He affirmed that he was a fan of Zinedine Zidane and was attracted by the charm of the home team at the Bernabeu, but when he moved there, he found it was not suitable.
“Real is a bit colorful and I don’t like that. That’s not my nature. I also don’t like the way the team plays compared to other clubs. But playing for Real is my dream. I won’t end it,” he continued. End your career until you play there,” the former Belgian player continued.
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