Chelsea forward Eden Hazard is “too unselfish” to be compared to both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, according to Watford midfielder Will Hughes.
The west Londoners beat the Hornets 3-0 on Sunday afternoon to all-but secure their place in the Premier League’s top four.
Hazard vs Messi vs Ronaldo: Five things to know
- Apps this season: Hazard: 49 Messi: 46 Ronaldo: 41
- Goals this season: Hazard: 19 Messi: 48 Ronaldo: 28
- Assists this season: Hazard: 15 Messi: 22 Ronaldo: 13
- With just one year left on his Chelsea contract, the Belgian playmaker has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid this summer.
- Hazard could still help the Blues finish in the top four of the Premier League and win the Europa League this season.
Speaking ahead of their Premier League clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, talented Watford midfielder Hughes has heaped praise upon his counterpart.
The Hornets are aiming for a ninth-placed finish – with Wolverhampton Wanderers out of reach in seventh and Everton having a superior goal difference in eighth – but could still qualify for the Europa League via the FA Cup final against Manchester City.
One man who knows what it takes to succeed in the Europa League is Hazard, who won the tournament in his first season at Chelsea and could finish with the very same trophy at the end of this campaign.
Hughes believes Hazard is the man to make the difference for Chelsea and is only withheld from comparative conversations with both Messi and Ronaldo because of his unselfish approach to football.
“His [Hazard’s] agility and the way he moves the ball so quickly in tight spaces is different class. Sometimes you have to just admire him,” Hughes said before the match.
“The reason he’s not talked about like Messi and Ronaldo is because he’s unselfish, he’d rather pass it to a teammate, which people don’t notice as much.”
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Sarri blames Europa League for slow start vs Watford
Chelsea may have run out 3-0 winners against Watford but it could have been very different had the Hornets taken their early chances, with the Blues making a lethargic start to the game.
However, Sarri’s side managed to turn things around in the second half, with goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek, David Luiz and Gonzalo Higuain putting Javi Gracia’s men to the sword.
And Sarri blamed Chelsea’s Europa League exploits for the sluggish opening to Sunday’s encounter, with the Blues drawing 1-1 in Germany against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday night.
“I think in the first half we were tired, mentally,” Sarri said after the game. “We were in trouble. Then they lowered their intensity. We were lucky to score after two minutes – we improved mentally after the first goal. We played very well for 35 minutes then. It’s not easy to play after 60 hours. After Europa League away games we’ve only won one match.
“When you are not brilliant physically you have to move the ball, the ball isn’t tired, the man is tried. In the second half, we did it better as something changed in our minds.”