Hazard: I want to be the best

Eden Hazard wants to match the achievements of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and believes he has matured under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.

Last Updated: 27/01/14 at 12:17 Post Comment

Eden Hazard: Chelsea playmaker wants to match Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

Eden Hazard: Chelsea playmaker wants to match Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The Belgium international has been in fine form for the Stamford Bridge club this season, with his playmaking efforts alongside Oscar contributing to the Blues' decision to sell Juan Mata to Manchester United.

Hazard did not find the net for Chelsea in the Premier League this season until the 3-1 victory away to Norwich in October, but since then he has added eight further goals to keep Jose Mourinho's men firmly in Premier League title contention.

The 23-year-old, who arrived in West London in a £32million deal with Lille in summer 2012, accepts he has the ability to follow in the footsteps of Barcelona ace Messi and Real Madrid's Ronaldo, who have claimed the Ballon d'Or honour for the world player of the year on multiple occasions.

"Of course I want to be the best in the world," he told Het Laatste Nieuws. "Previously I was more worried about the game itself: football was just a game for me, I wanted to amuse myself and didn't bother what the people thought about me.

"But since I'm here at Chelsea, I've become more aware of my qualities, I guess. Before I knew I was a good player, but not one of the better players in the world.

"Now I realise that I can compete with Messi and Ronaldo in the near future, if I put in some more effort. I don't know if I will ever reach their level. It'll be hard, they have incredible stats, but I accept the challenge."

Hazard believes the influence of Mourinho, who returned to Chelsea for his second spell in charge of the Stamford Bridge side in the summer, has also had a major impact on his career, with the Portuguese coach encouraging his attacking charge to reach greater heights.

"I agree, I've matured," Hazard added. "On the pitch, I haven't changed much. I'm still the same, but I realised that, if I want to be among the best in the world, I'll have to perform consistently, game in, game out.

"I'm now important for the team, I give good passes, I score more goals and Chelsea is performing well.

"Everyone expects more from me. I hear it every day. Maybe I need these little comments, too. When a manager always says 'Eden, you're doing great', there is a threat that you can snooze.

"As a professional, you have to challenge yourself every day. Put yourself in front of a mirror. The manager is close to his players, but when he has something to say, he does to your face, in a friendly way. And he knows how to challenge his players.

"At Lille, in France, I sometimes played on a high level too, but I was more focused on the beauty of the game and how I could entertain the audience. I still try to do that, but I've become more efficient now and have become a real team player.

"I have the image of someone who doesn't care. I've been playing professional football for five seasons now, I rarely was injured, I follow a strict diet, I sleep well, I rest and I'm always on time.

"No-one can ever accuse me of not living for my job, because I do."

With Chelsea firmly in the title race and through to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup, Hazard feels that they should be aiming for a minimum of two pieces of silverware this season.

The Blues trail Arsenal by two points in the top flight and are one behind Manchester City, who they must travel to in the FA Cup fifth round, while Galatasaray and Didier Drogba await next month in Europe.

He said: "We are still in the race for the title, the Champions League and the FA Cup. We have to win at least one or two of these competitions.

"Chelsea is a club that goes for prizes and I want to win trophies too."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

he thing is, footballers are role models, and children are influenced by them. I watched the Chelsea game with my 6 year old, and at school the next day she stamped on Emre Can.

megabrow (cufc)
Diego Costa: The Patron Saint Of S**thousery

Y

et again Barcelona try to convince the world that they only play the most virtuous of football. I've never seen a team so willing and able to dish out lumps but feel so self-righteous that no opposition player should ever have the audacity to tackle them.

charsmatcengma
Enrique hauls Neymar to safety

I

d love to see a United v Liverpool FA cup final. It would certainly fit the narrative. Obv I'd want the ending to be one of an O.G. and tears as he collects his runner-up medal.

GVMUFC
Gerrard Constantly Searching For That Final Hurrah

Footer 365

Brendan Rodgers: Daniel Sturridge can shine new light on revamped Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers expects the imminent return of "reference point" Daniel Sturridge to help Liverpool push for a top-four place.

Premier League: Arsenal top scorer Alexis Sanchez a doubt for Super Sunday game against Aston Villa

Arsenal could be without Alexis Sanchez for their Super Sunday game against Aston Villa this weekend.

Transfer News: Chelsea look to sell Andre Schurrle to Wolfsburg , free up funds for Juan Cuadrado bid

Chelsea are in talks with Wolfsburg for the possible sale of Andre Schurrle in a move to sign Juan Cuadrado.

Mail Box

It's A Massive, Big, Brilliant Mailbox

And we left lots of Suarez/Costa mails unopened. What we do have is a video of some rotten Suarez tackles and views on the future of football, Spurs, Liverpool and...

But Biting Doesn't Hurt Like Stamping...

There are Liverpool fans arguing that Luis Suarez is nowhere near Diego Costa's sh*t-house league but we have plenty of love for the agitator too. Oh and Spurs...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company