Eden Hazard can be as good as Lionel Messi this season. Well, according to his teammate Pedro that is.
The Belgian international was on the wrong end of heavy criticism from the Chelsea fans throughout the majority of last season due to his below-par performances during the worst ever Premier League title defence.
Chelsea went from Premier League champions to a mid-table team in the space of 12 months, and Hazard went from the PFA Player of the Year to an invisible man.
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Although it's safe to say the majority of the Chelsea team were a disappointment last season, Hazard was one of three that got most of the stick, along with Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa, and it was made to look even worse when the trio recaptured some of their old form once Jose Mourinho was pushed out the door.
The last few weeks of the season saw Hazard recapture his Player of the Year form, scoring impressive goals against Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as a brace against AFC Bournemouth.
He then continued that form into the European Championship with Belgium, where he helped guide his country to a quarter-final, before they were surprisingly eliminated by Gareth Bales' Wales.
However, it's a new era at Stamford Bridge with Italian tactician Antonio Conte now at the helm, and one player in particular believes the new manager can get the best out of a certain Eden Hazard.
Throughout his career at Chelsea, the 25-year-old has been compared to the likes of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, with the majority of people suggesting he's in the bracket just below the La Liga duo.
A player who knows all about Messi's strengths is Pedro, and the Spaniard believes his new teammate is fully capable of reaching the same level of his former teammate.
He told Standard Sport: “When it comes to Messi, we are talking about a player I believe is still the best in the world. He really is on a different level to other players.
“But Hazard is a very, very good player, you can see his technique is excellent and he has shown everything at Chelsea.
“He is still young, so he is going to continue improving to one day be among the very best in the world.
“It’s always going to be difficult to compete with a player of Lionel’s ability, but Eden has all the qualities to do exactly that.
“He has that ability and talent to stand out from the crowd, to make the difference and be decisive. When you see him produce moments of magic, it is easy to draw comparisons with Messi.”
Can Eden Hazard ever reach Lionel Messi's level? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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