Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard has played down comparisons with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, saying he is a completely different player.
The Belgium international, who has scored 15 goals in 35 appearances across all competitions for Chelsea this season, has been among the most consistent performers in the Premier League and across Europe since moving to Stamford Bridge in 2012.
His impressive performances have led some to suggest that the 27-year-old has the potential to be as impactful as the five-time Ballon d’Or winners.
“First it is good to be compared with the greatest ever, but I am completely different,” Hazard told reporters. “We play in different leagues. I try and do my job, I try to reach that level, their level, because they are the best in the world. Every season I try and do my best.”
Hazard also played down persistent media reports linking him with a move to join Ronaldo at Real Madrid, saying he was happy at Chelsea.
The Premier League champions host Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie later on Tuesday, with their last win against the Spanish side coming in 2012.
“If you want to be one of the best, you have to play well in the big games. This is a big game. Let’s go for it and try and give everything,” Hazard added.
“You want to shine when you play the best in the world. If I want to reach that level, I need to do a great game.”