The Chelsea playmaker helped Belgium reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup on Tuesday following a dramatic 2-1 win over USA after extra-time.
The Red Devils will now face Messi’s Argentina side for a place in the last four in Brazil.
And the 23-year-old PFA young player of the year concedes that he still has some way to go before he can be considered to be up there with the Argentina and Barcelona star.
“I admire players like Messi,” said Hazard. “Today I am not at their level. I still have time, although it’s not my goal. My goal is the semis.
“Argentina don’t just have Messi. They have a good team but they rely a lot on him. He can make the difference at any moment.”
Hazard also reserved praise for USA goalkeeper Tim Howard, who produced 15 saves during his side’s defeat by Belgium.
“Howard had a superb game and if it wasn’t for him we would have won earlier,” he added.
“We were worried when they pulled it back to 2-1. We were very tired but we stayed solid and [goalkeeper] Thibaut [Courtois] saved us.
“We played a great game, it was a complete performance, both individually and collectively.”
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