Pundit: This is how Chelsea star compares to Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo

The Manchester United legend believes Chelsea star Eden Hazard is among the best seven players in the world

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand Photo: BT Sport

Rio Ferdinand has claimed that Chelsea star Eden Hazard is alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the best players in the world.

The Belgium international has enjoyed a return to form under new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte following a disappointing 2015-16 Premier League season.

Hazard has produced his best return in the Premier League in his fifth season at Stamford Bridge after 15 goals and five assists in 33 top-flight appearances.

The Chelsea forward was nominated for the PFA player of the year award but finished behind his team-mate N’Golo Kante after a brilliant season for the French midfielder.

Hazard, 26, has been linked with a big-money move to La Liga giants Real Madrid and Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain in the summer transfer window.

Writing in his Times column about the Chelsea forward, Ferdinand claimed that Hazard is now among the best six players in the world.

“For me, Neymar is on his own in that next rung behind Lionel Messi and Ronaldo,” Ferdinand told the Daily Star.

“Then you have Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, Gareth Bale — and Hazard is among those now.”

MORE: Latest Chelsea news and views

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Chelsea are sitting seven points clear of second-placed Tottenham Hotspur with two games to go in the title race.

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