Eden Hazard doesn’t consider himself a Top 5 player in the world… yet.
The Chelsea winger, who is enjoying what many believe is his best season yet, was asked on Wednesday whether he was a Top 5 player and responded by saying that until he fulfills his potential on a game-in game-out basis, he doesn’t make the cut.
“I’m not a top-five player yet,” said Hazard. “Maybe I’m close to it, but I still have to work on some aspects. You can only be part of that group if you are decisive in the top games. I (have started) doing that, like I did against Manchester City and Arsenal.
“Who are better than me? The two extra-terrestrials, (Cristiano) Ronaldo and (Lionel) Messi, (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic, (Franck) Ribery and (Arjen) Robben. They make the difference almost every game.”
Despite a sensational year last season, Hazard received the brunt of manager Jose Mourinho’s criticism for his failure to back track in midfield. This year Hazard has made efforts to improve but decisiveness remains an issue. “Jose Mourinho and I get along well. I’ve lots of respect for him. He gives me a lot of confidence. After a bad game he dares to say, “We have played with 10 today”, but that’s it. At moments like that he leaves me alone.”
The Belgian’s performance in last week’s 2-0 win over Arsenal was nothing short of brilliant, with Hazard earning man-of-the-match honors. Yet in 10 matches with Chelsea this season he’s only scored twice and notched two assists. The presence of Diego Costa has something to do with that but so too does Hazard not having reached his full potential.
In reality, it’s highly debatable that Hazard is to a Top 10 player, let alone the Top 5. While comparing players of different positions is apples and oranges most would give the likes of Luis Suarez, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and Neymar the nod over Hazard while others may say Philip Lahm, Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Angel di Maria are all deserved of a spot on the ‘world’s best’ list above Hazard.
Regardless, Hazard is up there. And good on him for taking the modest approach.