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Chelsea star tipped to take over from Messi and Ronaldo as world’s best

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Graeme Souness has backed Eden Hazard to succeed Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the world’s best player.

The Belgium international grabbed two goals in Chelsea’s 3-1 victory over Newcastle on Saturday to keep Antonio Conte’s side third in the Premier League table.

Hazard was a constant thorn in Newcastle’s side and Souness believes the playmaker is becoming ‘unplayable’.

“When you think of the players who can take the mantle from the two top players at the moment – Messi and Ronaldo – Hazard comes into that category – he is that good,” Souness told Sky Sports.

“His best years are ahead of him. My only criticism of him is that sometimes he’s not bang at it, but when he is in the mood he was today he is unplayable.

“The truly great players become unplayable, and when he is at it he certainly is great. You can set all the bear traps and obstacles for him but, like all the great players, he finds a solution to what’s put in front of him.

“He’s among a handful of players who you can say are unplayable on their day.”

Hazard has been extremely impressive for Chelsea this season, but while he has closed the gap on Messi and Ronaldo he is not on a par with them at the moment.

The La Liga duo have performed consistently at the highest level over the past few seasons and Hazard’s disappearing act that contributed to Jose Mourinho’s exit for a second time from Chelsea still remains fresh in the memory.

Whether Hazard can succeed Messi and Ronaldo as the world’s number one player remains to be seen, and it may take a move away from the Premier League to determine whether he can fulfil Souness’ views on his ability.

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