In a recent interview with the Daily Mail, John Terry claimed that Eden Hazard is on par with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
He told the website:
“He has been our best player by a long way this year and in those games when you are looking for a bit of extra, a bit of magic from someone he is the one who steps up and managed to create something. He is up there with the (Lionel) Messi’s and (Cristiano) Ronaldo’s and can still get better and better.”
To be the best and a non-biased judge we must realize that Hazard is totally a different player than Messi and Ronaldo. To add to that fact, we should note that he is younger, still growing and playing in the Premier League. However, he is going well, and the critics have drawn Hazard’s comparisons with ex-Chelsea player and current Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben. Such a comparison makes more sense as both the players play in the same position. The Premier League has seen very few creative geniuses like Robben and the Dutch winger has been brilliant throughout his career for clubs like PSV, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich apart from Chelsea. Not to mention his contribution to the Netherlands national team.
Let us now analyze how close Hazard is to the greats of today:
Eden Hazard hasn’t been as good in the goal scoring department with only 12 goals as compared to Ronaldo’s whopping 37 goals and Messi’s 33 goals. Well, this is quite obvious as Messi and Ronaldo are the top goal-scorers for their respective clubs and have been receiving supplies rather than supplying. Undoubtedly, their assists tally is better than Hazard with Messi topping the chart with 15 assists and Ronaldo with 12 assists as compared to Hazard’s 7 assists. But, with all the backtracking and running with the ball in the Premier League the Belgian’s tally isn’t bad and with age on his side, Hazard is sure to develop into an even better player.
This is one area where Hazard comfortably beats Ronaldo and Messi. It is the general passing game and how well the player connects with the other players is that matters most in a midfielder. Let us start with key passing, Hazard has 79 key passes that are 20 more than Messi and 34 more than Ronaldo. Hazard has been the key link in every Chelsea attack and has been making some very crucial and decisive passes that change the fate of the game. In case of chances created, Hazard tops the table with 86 chances as compared to his La Liga nemeses Ronaldo’s 57 and Messi’s 74. Hazard has been the best chance creator in the world and totally outwits his competitors. The other talking point is the pass completion percentage. Hazard has completed 1473 successful passes at an 87% pass completion rate. Ronaldo has 765 successful passes at a success rate of 81% while Messi has 1456 successful passes at a success rate of 82%. It is safe to say that Hazard is a better midfielder and a team-player than Ronaldo and Messi. Moreover, with time on his hand he is sure to improve and go on to become one of the world’s elite.
According to Squawka, Hazard has a defensive score of 237 which is way too high as compared to Messi’s 109 and Ronaldo’s low-lying -46. Hazard, on the other hand, comfortably beats Messi and Ronaldo and justifies his total team gameplay. He is elegant and industrious as well. He backtracks very well and comes to his defenders’ aid whenever needed. Also, he is a strong tackler, and he has won 22 of his tackles which is quite good for an attacking player and is much better than Ronaldo’s 6 and Messi’s 19. Another statistic that proves his dominance and threat over defenders is number of times he is fouled. Hazard has suffered 92 fouls and majority of them have come due to his exquisite dribbling skills.
In conclusion, it is evident that Hazard is getting better day by day and might easily better Messi and Ronaldo in the future.
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Edited By: Vikram Vadiganeni