Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has stated that Eden Hazard is just behind Lionel Messi as the best player in world football.
The Barcelona forward and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the Ballon d’Or award for the past decade, although that could well change in 2018 with a number of players in contention.
Luka Modric, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe are all in with a shout following some fantastic displays for club and country, while Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah could also win the gong due to his stunning form for the Champions League finalists.
Tipped as a future winner of the coveted award, it appears that Hazard will have to wait another year before finally getting his hands on the prize.
With many going crazy for Mbappe after his role in France’s World Cup success, Rudiger has claimed that his teammate is a better player than the youngster.
‘Mbappe is unbelievably fast, really good,” said the German international, as reported by the Daily Mail . “To stop him, you have to do it as a team because alone, good luck!
“But for me the best in the world is Messi, then Hazard.”
Hazard was used as a false nine for the Blues last season with Alvaro Morata struggling in his first year in west London prior to Olivier Giroud’s January arrival.
With new manager Maurizio Sarri preferring the Spain international at present, Rudiger has tipped Giroud to have a big say for the Blues over the course of the season.
“I like him as a striker, he is tough and loves to use his body,” he added.
“Alvaro (Morata) trained the whole pre-season when Giroud was late after the World Cup.
“But Olivier can be very important for us like he was at the end of last season.
“If he starts scoring, it will be a good competition for them.”