Eden Hazard is told by Antonio Conte what he needs to do to be like Messi and Ronaldo

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Eden Hazard is seemingly back to his best after a slow start to the season.

Having recovered from an ankle fracture which kept him out of the first three games, his form echoed his dip of two years ago, after Chelsea won the Premier League and ended up finishing 10th, as he didn't score a goal until mid-October.

Hazard got a brace in the Blues' 3-3 draw with Roma, and hasn't looked back since then, adding a further six goals and four assists in 10 outings.

He's helped Chelsea keep pace with Manchester United in second, who they are just three points behind, though they're a further eight adrift of runaway leaders Manchester City.

The Belgian also aided Chelsea's passage to the knockout stages of the Champions League, though they are disappointed to have finished as runners-up.

Now into his sixth season at Stamford Bridge, following a move from Lille in 2012, Hazard is reaching the peak of his career.

He is yet to make a name for himself on the world stage though, with Chelsea failing to make any inroads in the Champions League, apart from a semi-final defeat to Atletico Madrid in 2014.

This week, Hazard was voted the 19th best player in the world for 2017, which in all fairness is a way below the level he aspires to and the level everyone knows he can reach.

Cristiano Ronaldo retained the award, his fifth in total, equalling the record set by Lionel Messi, who finished second.

And Antonio Conte believes Hazard can improve to reach their standard.

Chelsea FC v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Champions League

The Italian claims he needs something he calls a 'sacred fire', which constantly drives a player to better himself and do more to help the team.

"Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar (who came third), when you see these players, you see a hunger in every ­moment," he said.

"For that reason they are very special. They score one goal, and they want to score the second; score the second, they want to score the third.

Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League

"I like to call it a ‘sacred fire’, when you have it inside you, the will to win every game and to score goals. Every one of us, we have this sacred fire, and we have to find the right solution to ­improve it.

"At this level, you must have it. The flame can be big or little. When you have an inferno, it means you are like Messi, ­Ronaldo and Neymar."

Conte went on to add that Hazard's task will not be easy though, but outlined his ability to make game-changing moments at any time.


"Eden is an important player for us and, during games, he can make the difference," he stated.

"He has the right characteristics to try to fight with these ­giants. He has to try to improve his position in this table in the next year, but it is not simple.

"If you want to win the Ballon d’Or, you have to win the league, the Champions League, the World Cup. You have to win the Euros."

Hazard and Conte will be hoping to boost the Belgian's chances with a run deep into the knockout stages of the Champions League when it resumes in February.

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Eden Hazard
Belgium Football
Premier League
Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo

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