Samuel Eto'o believes Eden Hazard is 'close' to Lionel Messi's level and will win Ballon d'Or

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Eden Hazard finally made his dream move to Spanish mega-club Real Madrid this summer.

The brilliant Belgian enjoyed one of his best seasons in the Premier League last time out and it was no surprise that the 13-time European champions came knocking.

With 16 goals and 15 assists to his name, Hazard was by far and away the shining light for Chelsea in 2018/19.

The Blues clinched yet another Europa League triumph in Baku after a scintillating final performance from Hazard and it was shortly after that he was announced as a Real Madrid player.

Now the onus is very firmly on Hazard to prove his worth - surrounded by some of the finest players on the planet, the 28-year-old finally has the platform to go out and challenge for the Ballon d’Or.

There is no doubting that he has the talent to fight for the biggest prize in the game, but he no longer has the excuse of having to carry his team to fall back on.

During preseason Hazard hasn’t exactly set the scene alight and there is certainly work to be done if he is to justify a fee that could end up exceeding £150 million.

In fact, you wouldn’t be incorrect if you were to go as far as to say that Hazard’s pre-season has been a bit of a nightmare.

Hazard started for his new side as they slumped to a 7-3 thrashing at the hands of fierce rivals Atletico Madrid last night.

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It was a friendly, yes, but the initial signs are still concerning.

However, former Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o believes the Belgian has everything it takes to be crowned the best in the world.

In fact, the Cameroon legend is more concerned for his former team than anything else.

“Hazard has to win the Ballon d’Or,” Eto’o said to Radio MARCA.

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“He hasn’t been valued enough but now he’s at one of the best teams in the world all eyes will be on him.

“He’s close to Messi’s level and I hope that he plays Barcelona when he’s not at 100 percent.”

Coming from someone who dominated La Liga for years, that is quite the compliment.

Eto’o was one of the finest strikers to grace that famous Barcelona shirt and knows exactly what it takes to be a success and get the business done in Spain.

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If Hazard manages to shake off a disappointing pre-season and get back to his best, we expect him to do some real damage.

You can be sure there are a few Premier League defenders who are more than happy to see the back of him.

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