Former Everton manager, Roberto Martínez, has said that he finds shades of similarity between Chelsea superstar, Eden Hazard and Barcelona forward, Lionel Messi. The Belgian winger has been in great form this season, and scored a wonderful solo goal against Arsenal on Saturday to help Chelsea move nine points clear at the top.
Hazard had a disappointing last season for both club and country. Martínez, the current Belgium manager, says that Chelsea have found a new way to get the best out of Hazard.
Martínez feels that Hazard’s control and acceleration with the ball makes him a unique player. In his case, what really stands out is his maturity.
The Belgian manager said, as quoted by Sky Sports:
What he does is quite unique. It’s that acceleration and stopping and standing still. He reminds me a lot of Messi. Not many players can control the moment and take the defenders where you want to take them.
The way he uses the ball with his feet is sensational and what is surprising more than anything is his maturity.
I think that Eden, at 26, is almost in the perfect moment of his career and the system that Chelsea plays, which is the same as we play in the national team, has really given him a new breath of life.
Last season, as an opposition Premier League manager you were always aware of Eden Hazard and playing on the left wing it was probably easier to stop him having one v one situations.
Hazard is a wonderful player, and a joy to watch. At times, he can produce moments of sublime quality that can take your breath away – for instance, the solo goal against Arsenal. Hazard has all the potential to win the Ballon d’Or in the future, but right now he is probably not there yet in the same levels of Messi or Ronaldo.
Like Messi, the Chelsea star is highly skillful, but Hazard needs to add more goals to his name. Messi creates loads of chances for his teammates but at the same time scores a hell lot of goals every season. On the other hand, Hazard frequently drops deep and puts in defensive shifts, something we generally do not associate with Messi.