Maurizio Sarri discusses Eden Hazard’s importance to Chelsea FC

The Chelsea FC manager likens Eden Hazard to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Chelsea FC forward Eden Hazard Photo: The Sport Review

Maurizio Sarri says Eden Hazard’s importance to Chelsea FC is similar to the influence of Lionel Messi at FC Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus.

The Blues forward has been a key player for Sarri since the Italian head coach took over the reins of the west London side from Antonio Conte in the summer.

Hazard has been given a new lease of life following a sensational return of seven goals in eight games in the Premier League before he suffered a fitness setback in a 2-2 draw with Manchester United in October.

The Belgium international scored his 100th and 101st goals for Chelsea FC in a 2-1 win against Watford at Vicarage Road on Boxing Day to help the Blues cement their position in the top four.

Sarri has used Hazard in a false number nine rose to lead the Chelsea FC attack given the well-documented struggles of both Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud.

Speaking at his post-match media conference about Hazard’s influence on the Chelsea FC team, Sarri said:

“Of course he’s very important for us but Messi is very important for Barcelona, Ronaldo is important for Juventus.

“He’s a great player, he’s able to play in every position. At the moment he’s playing as a false nine and he’s able to play there.

“He scored two and made two or three good assists. He’s very able to open spaces for his team-mates. He can play very well in every position.”

Hazard has scored eight goals and has made nine assists in 16 games in the Premier League this term.

The Belgian forward moved to Chelsea FC in a big-money deal from Ligue 1 side Lille in the 2012 summer transfer window.

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