Does Chelsea’s Eden Hazard Have What It Takes to Become the World’s’ Best Footballer?

It became official yesterday- Chelsea’s Eden Hazard received the Professional Footballer’s Association of the Year award. Hazard scored 13 goals and registered eight assists in 33 Premier League games to help leaders Chelsea move to a ten point lead and two wins from a Premier League title. Last season, Hazard won the PFA Young Player award.eden-hazard_2788463b

The question is whether the English Premier League’s top player this season can reach the heights of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Christiano Ronaldo who are constantly challenging each other in the Spanish Premier League.

While Hazard, a Belgian international, has had an outstanding season in the EPL by scoring some clutch goals, I am not sure he can ever achieve the accolades reached by Messi and Ronaldo.

Hazard always seems to do something positive with the ball. He is not one to show off intentionally, but is not afraid to do something spectacular with the ball like a nifty flick to a teammate or attempting a bicycle kick if that gives him the best opportunity to do something that will be in the best interest of the team.

Only 24, Hazard has time to improve. Yet, by age 24, Messi had already won two Ballon d’Or awards. Hazard is a proven scorer, but can you see him scoring over 50 goals in five consecutive seasons as Ronaldo has done?

The best thing Messi and Ronaldo have going for them is they always push each other to greatness as they are often compared as the top player in the world. Some say Messi while others believe Ronaldo to be the top player, but that only motivates each of them to top the other.

If either Messi or Ronaldo played in a different league, would they still be compared as the top footballers in the world? I believe so because both of them are a tier above anyone else out there in any league and more often than not do things on the pitch that leave us breathless.

For Hazard to close the gap on Messi and Ronaldo, he needs a player in the EPL who can push him to reach new heights. Will it be Tottenham striker Harry Kane who is 21 and was awarded the Young Professional Footballer’s Player of the Year award or 20 year old Raheem Sterling of Liverpool? Maybe there will be another player who makes great strides over the next few years. Regardless, Hazard needs that competition with other players in the league if he ever wants to be compared to Messi or Ronaldo who have been proven commodities for many years.

Players can say they don’t read the paper or follow stats of other players, but they are not being truthful. Like any good competitor, seeing how opponents are doing gives these players something to strive for and helps elevate their game to new levels.

And that’s as I see it!

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Internal photo courtesy of http://www.telegraph.co.uk

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