Jose Mourinho says what he thinks, and he believes Eden Hazard deserves to be named among the three best players on the planet.
Maybe even the top two.
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The Belgian winger tore the Premier League apart last season, scoring 19 times and adding 11 assists as Chelsea won the league and he was the creative hub of the west London club.
Speaking to reporters in the final days of Chelsea’s preseason trip to North America — the Blues face Barcelona at FedEx Field on Tuesday before heading back to London — Mourinho was asked if winning titles last season meant Hazard was better than Cristiano Ronaldo, who won zero trophies with the Spanish giants during the 2014-15 campaign.
“Last season, yes. In spite of the fact that Ronaldo was fantastic,” Mourinho said. “He was fantastic. He scored an incredible number of goals. I am not saying he is not fantastic. I am just saying that, in my personal view, every football player in the world should understand that a team has to be in front and no titles.”
Mourinho wasn’t finished. Oh no. He also went on to say that the reigning PFA Player of the Year
“Eden is coming with big status now and was voted one of the top ten players in Europe last year,” Mourinho said. “In my opinion he should be in the top three not in the top 10. I think Eden is the best player in our country. The best player in England… As the Premier League is the top competition in the world, I think he is among the top players.”
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With Chelsea set to lean heavily on Hazard once again this season as they look to secure back-to-back PL titles, Mourinho could be doing worse things than pumping the Belgian star full of confidence ahead of the Community Shield showdown with Arsenal at Wembley Stadium this Sunday.
Chelsea kicks off its title defense against Swansea City in Sunday, Aug, 9 (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).