Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola believes Eden Hazard could be as just as important to the Blues as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are for Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Hazard’s incredible form this season has seen him win numerous accolades and plaudits including the FWA and PFA Player of the Year gongs and it was his goal against Crystal Palace that sealed a first Premier League title in five years for Chelsea.
Hazard is the kind of player ‘you would buy a ticket to go and watch’ says the Italian, and many have seen fit to compare the two as some of the Stamford Bridge outfit’s best ever players.
Comparisons the 48-year-old has started to notice and says he was in a similar position when he was younger and started being compared to a number of world class stars.
“When I was younger they did it to me with Diego Maradona and Romario,” he said in an interview with the London Evening Standard.
“It is good to have somebody you can compare your game to because it gives you some indication of where you need to go and makes you work even harder.
“The tendency when some people achieve something is to feel that you have done enough. I have seen many talented players in the past but they never learnt to use it in the right way. The secret is setting new targets that will make you jump higher.
“That will be the key for him. Jose is the right person and Chelsea is the perfect club for him to improve.”
Zola believes Hazard deserves to be seen as the best player in the Premier League and whilst a number of stars have had memorable seasons, none have been so impressive as the Belgian.
“Everyone loves seeing players like that. He has got that flair but this season under Jose Mourinho he has learnt to be more effective. He has also worked very hard defensively and that has made him a complete player,” he said.
“There have been players like Alexis Sanchez and Harry Kane, who have done very well, but I do not think they can be put on the same level as Hazard.”