Throughout March, the self-proclaimed 'special one', Jose Mourinho, has voiced discontent at the lack of Premier League awards that his young prodigy, Eden Hazard, has received.
While Mourinho only began his second managerial spell at Chelsea nine months ago, under his charge, Hazard's has began to develop into a top player – justifying the rumoured £32million that Chelsea paid Lille for his services.
Hazard went as far as to link himself to the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in February, when he told French sports newspaper, L'Équipe, that 'I'm as good as they were at my age'.
Mourinho, as well as Belgium manager, Marc Wilmots, have also spoken out about Hazard's qualities, calling him the 'best young player in the world', with the ability to reach the summit of professional football.
While the 23-year-old Belgian is clearly a remarkable player, with the talent to better the exceptional performances he has been putting in for Chelsea this season, his statistics this season, compared to those of Messi and Ronaldo when they were his age, suggest that he is still some way off of their level.
With the 2013/14 season coming to an end, Hazard has managed 14 goals in 34 appearances for the Blues, the last coming in their 4-0 win over Tottenham, as well as setting up seven assists for his fellow team-mates.
While there is still time for Hazard to add to his tally, as he surely will, it does not compare to Ronaldo's statistics during the 2007/08 season – when he was aged 23-years-old - in which he scored an impressive 42 goals in all competitions for Manchester United. Ronaldo was also the 2007 Ballon D'Or runner-up, before winning it a year later in 2008.
Messi, on the other hand, had already won three Ballon d'Or titles by the age of 23. He won his first at the age of 21, in 2009, before adding the 2010 and 2011 prizes to his collection. While during the 2010/11 season, at the age of 23, he scored an impressive 53 goals for Barcelona, as well as provided 24 assists.
These statistics speak for themselves, and while Mourinho may be right in suggesting that Hazard deserves a 'Player of the month' award for the qualities he brings to the Chelsea squad, it is extremely premature to place him within the same bracket as the likes of Messi and Ronaldo.
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