Carlos Puyol, a former Barcelona defender, has said that Chelsea’s star man, Eden Hazard, is not as good as Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo or Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. The retired Spanish defender said the Belgian was a long way off from being compared with the La Liga superstars.
Hazard will lead his Chelsea mates when they come up against Barcelona at Nou Camp in a make or mar Champions League round of 16 second leg tie on Wednesday night. The Blues go into the needing to be at their best after playing a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge in the first leg.
”I don’t think he’s at their level yet,” said the 39-year-old.
”We are talking about incredible players. It’s not just one season, they have been at the maximum level for 10 years now.
”Messi is the best player in the world and in history. It’s impressive what he’s doing every year at an exceptionally high level, breaking records, getting better and better in more aspects of his game.
”So to compare him with Messi or Ronaldo is difficult, but Hazard is a fantastic player. He’s a player who makes the difference and has plenty of time to grow.”
However, Puyol praised the winger saying he was the Blues’ best player. He also acknowledged Cesc Fabregas, Willian and Pedro as players the Premier League side can count on against Barcelona.
”Hazard is their best player. They also have Cesc Fabregas. You have to control Cesc, who likes to dictate play and provide assists.
”Willian who played well in the first leg and Pedro knows the Nou Camp perfectly and is a very dangerous player who works hard.
”Barcelona will have to have a complete game and not just watch out for one player but for several because Chelsea have great players going forward,” he said.
Puyol has won the Champions League three times, twice under the guidance of Pep Guardiola, who is already into the last eight of this year’s competition with Manchester City.