Chelsea forward Eden Hazard has admitted he is trying to reach the levels of the likes of Liverpool star Mohamed Salah.
The Egyptian has been in fine form since returning to England with Liverpool in the summer of 2018 having previously failed to impress while with Chelsea.
How does Salah motivate Hazard? Five key things to know…
- Eden Hazard has been Chelsea’s standout player in an otherwise disappointing season.
- The Belgian has scored 16 goals across all competitions and added a further 11 assists – the most in the Premier League.
- But Hazard has listed Mohamed Salah among the names of the players he looks up to.
- Also mentioned by the Belgian are Luka Modric, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
- Mohamed Salah has scored 20 goals for Liverpool this season as the Reds push for the Premier League and Champions League.
Salah finished his first season with Liverpool as top scorer in the Premier League, with 32 goals in 36 games and added another 10 in the Champions League as Jurgen Klopp’s side reached the final.
And Hazard, who has managed 13 goals in the Premier League this season, says Salah is among Lionel Messi, Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo as players he is trying to emulate.
Speaking to NBC Sports, as reported by football.london, Hazard said: “I like Modric – he’s more of a midfielder than me but, of course, I like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Mo Salah is one of my good friends and he’s doing something incredible.
“I try to look at this player and this player and try to reach that level.”
At the start of the season, Hazard was challenged to score 40 goals by Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri after his blistering start post-World Cup. But the Belgian has gone through barren runs throughout the season and remains on 16 in all competitions.
However, the Belgian does lead the way in the Premier League for assists, registering 11 so far.
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Where does Hazard’s future lie?
For many years, it has been said that Hazard must leave Chelsea if he truly wishes to reach the levels of Messi and Ronaldo – who both dominated La Liga before the latter moved to Italy.
Hazard currently has just over a year remaining on his present deal with Chelsea and has long been linked with a move to Real Madrid, which could materialise this summer.
The Belgian has never been quiet on his affection for Los Blancos and desires to play under Zinedine Zidane, who recently returned to the Santiago Bernabeu.
But Hazard risked the wrath of Chelsea fans with his most recent comments, fuelling speculation of his imminent departure.
Currently on international break with Belgium, Hazard was asked about a possible move to Real Madrid in a tongue-in-cheek way.
The question was: “Look, I have a friend who has been playing in the Premier League for seven years. At a club that plays in blue. He has won everything there and he is ready for a new challenge.
“He is now in the interest of another club, one in a white outfit. What would you recommend to that boy?”
To which Hazard replied, smiling: “Well, buy that friend a white shirt.”
However, the Belgian would go on to reiterate he is not thinking of a move just yet, wanting to help Chelsea achieve their goals of qualifying for the Champions League.
“I’m not working on that (a transfer) right now,” he added.
“I want to shine with Chelsea for a few months and try to win the Europa League. This week I think about the Red Devils (Belgium) and then back to Chelsea. Then we’ll see.”