Just before signing for Chelsea in 2012, Eden Hazard tweeted out that he was signing for the European Champions. Hazard has always been a flamboyant character and one for the limelight. It is anyone’s guess whether he would’ve signed for Chelsea had they not won the Champions League that year.
Eden Hazard is Not on Messi and Ronaldo’s Level
The Belgian is a great player with world-class ability, let’s make no mistake about that. However, you never quite know what to expect from him. He is mercurial, eccentric and an integral part of club and country. But there is never any guarantee as to which Eden Hazard will turn up: the 14 goal, ten assist Hazard from the 2014/15 season or the four-goal, four assist Hazard from the 2015/16 season.
It took the talismanic midfielder until the 35th round of Premier League fixtures in the 2015/16 season to get on the scoresheet, while he failed to score in eight Champions League fixtures that season. On the upside, Hazard netted 30 League goals combined in the two seasons before and after his disastrous 2015/16 campaign. Compare this unpredictability with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s 108 and 106 League goals tally for that same three-year period.
Allegations of asserting his considerable influence behind the back of managers have blighted his Chelsea career. Eden Hazard comes across as a player who wouldn’t just play for any manager. He requires the right sort of man-management to be motivated enough to perform at the best of his abilities.
When comparing with goalscoring phenomena like Ronaldo and Messi, it is important to note that hard work and focus are key to consistently becoming a great goalscorer. Cristiano Ronaldo is a result of years of maintaining a high work-ethic, level of training and dedication to the game, while Lionel Messi is pure, natural, God-given talent. Eden Hazard, to a great extent, is a bit of both.
Upon arriving in 2012 from Lille in 2012, there is no doubt that he was far from the finished article. He has worked hard to reach the level where he is at right now. But the difference between “great” players and “world-class” players is their consistency and mentality.
The Belgian has all the tools in the world to be the best in the world. All he has to do is want it.
While it may be hard to score 40-50 goals in the Premier League, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah last season (and Cristiano Ronaldo in 2008) showed that you can reach at least 30. For Eden Hazard, there are no excuses now. When the going gets tough, the tough in football usually get going. About to turn 28, he is about to enter what should be his peak years. As a neutral, one can only hope that either a young up-and-comer or an established star in world football steps up soon and finally grabs the brass rings away from Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
However, with Eden Hazard, for now, at least, you are more prone to seeing a 10/10 performance one game and a 1/10 the very next.