Pundit: The difference between Chelsea star Eden Hazard and Lionel Messi
Ray Wilkins believes Chelsea's Eden Hazard still has some work to do to emulate Barcelona icon Lionel Messi
Ray Wilkins says Chelsea forward Eden Hazard is still a little bit behind Barcelona icon Lionel Messi despite admitting there are similarities between the pair.
The Belgium international started Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur on the bench on Saturday afternoon before coming on as a second-half substitute to propel the Blues into the final.
Hazard scored Chelsea’s third goal to give Antonio Conte’s men a 3-2 lead after Harry Kane and Dele Alli had cancelled out Willian’s free-kick and penalty at Wembley.
The 26-year-old has scored 14 goals and has made five assists in 30 appearances in the 2016-17 Premier League campaign to help Conte’s side build a four-point lead at the top of the table.
Messi has netted 31 times and has made eight goals for his Barcelona team-mates to help Luis Enrique’s men hoist themselves to the top of La Liga.
Former Chelsea and Manchester United midfielder Wilkins conceded that Hazard still has some work to do to reach the same level as Barcelona playmaker Messi.
“I think he’s a bit behind Lionel Messi but not a huge amount. He’s such a talented young man. He can go on both sides and is very quick off the mark,” Wilkins told Sky Sports News HQ.
“They [Hazard and Messi] do resemble each other a hell of a lot. When put through on goal, Hazard doesn’t often miss. I think his performances this year have been outstanding, he has had a fantastic season after that rather poor one last year.”