Chelsea star Eden Hazard has the potential to be as good as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, according to Mark Schwarzer.
Hazard is the favourite to scoop the PFA Player of the Year award ahead of the likes of Harry Kane and Alexis Sanchez, having taken Chelsea to the cusp of their first Premier League title since 2010.
The Belgian international has scored 13 goals and eight assists so far this term, and Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane admitted this week that he is "keeping an eye" on the former Lille ace.
Brazilian icon Pele also said this week that he expects Hazard to take his game to the next level in the coming seasons and Schwarzer, who spent two seasons with the Blues and now plies his trade with Leicester, believes that Hazard is on the verge of joining Messi and Ronaldo as the best of the best.
He told TalkSPORT: “Who are we to argue with Pele? I have to agree with him."
“He’s still got some way to go but he’s a phenomenal player. This season alone the step up from last season, in term of his consistency and level of play, has been extraordinary.
“If he keeps doing what he’s doing then there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll be able to be compared with Messi and Ronaldo.”
Hazard has been regularly linked with a move to Real Madrid in recent months, but has insisted he's happy at Stamford Bridge and penned a five-and-a-half year deal with the Blues back in February. His latest key contribution came at the weekend when he proved to be the difference in a 1-0 win against Manchester United at the weekend.
That result leaves Chelsea 10 points clear at the top of the table from Arsenal, who they take on at the weekend, in second place. Eight points from their remaining six games would seal the deal for Jose Mourinho's men.
Hazard has been superb for Chelsea this season - but he is still miles behind Messi and Ronaldo. 13 league goals is a fair return but both Messi and Ronaldo have in excess of 30 in the league alone and it would be one hell of a jump for the Belgian to reach that standard.
It is perhaps not fair to compare him to the pair either; they will go down as two of the greatest players of all time. Will Hazard be able to make that big of a jump? Probably not, but he's closer than anyone else.