In a surprising turn of events, ex-Chelsea star Eden Hazard has stirred controversy by asserting his superiority over Cristiano Ronaldo in “pure football” terms. However, his admiration for Lionel Messi as the 'greatest in history' added a nuanced layer to the ongoing Messi-Ronaldo debate.
The Hazard-Ronaldo Debate: Audacity or Reality?
Eden Hazard's audacious claim on outclassing Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of "pure football" has ignited debates across the football community. His perspective and the contrasting playing styles of the Real Madrid duo further makes the comparison intriguing.
Hazard moved to the Spanish capital from Chelsea in 2019 and was viewed by the Madrid faithful as the successor to Ronaldo. He was handed the iconic No. 7 jersey, but, failed to replicate his form at Stamford Bridge, amassing just seven goals and 12 assists in his injury-plagued four seasons in La Liga.
Messi: The Undisputed Greatness According to Hazard
While Hazard puts himself in the same league as Ronaldo, he unequivocally recognizes Lionel Messi as the 'greatest in history'.
During an interview with L’Equipe, the Belgian said:
"Individually, Messi is perhaps the only one. I loved watching the Barcelona player, less so at the end, but he’s the greatest in history. It’s impossible to take the ball away from him."
"Cristiano is a bigger player than me but, in terms of pure football, I honestly don’t think so. Neymar, maybe. After that, he’s not better than me, but at Real, you’ve got the best, also in terms of their careers: Benzema, Modric, they were the best, Kroos, Kev’ [De Bruyne], they all exude football."
Unmasking Hazard's Real Madrid Revelations
Hazard retired at 32 last year, making just 76 appearances for Los Blancos, but secured six titles, winning the Champions League, La Liga, the Copa del Rey, Spanish Super Cup, and UEFA Super Cup.
"I've been a Zidane fan since I was a child. The Bernabeu, the white kit... it has a charm that others don't have. Madrid is special.- Hazard added
Beyond that, I don't think I fit in. It's not like me. It's a bit of a "swaggering" club and I'm not like that. I also didn’t like the way we played if you compare it to other clubs,
"But it was my dream. I couldn't finish my career without coming here."