‘Hazard Not At Messi & Ronaldo’s Level’- Ex Barcelona Defender Puyol
Barcelona legend, Carles Puyol has said Chelsea ace, Eden Hazard has a long way to go to be compared with the likes of Barca’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
Puyol said this ahead of Barcelona’s second leg UEFA Champions League round of 16 clash with Chelsea on Wednesday night at Camp Nou.
The ex-Spanish international, however, said Hazard is yet to attain the level Messi and Ronaldo have reached in football.
“I don’t think he’s at their level yet,’ Puyol told Sky Sports.
“We are talking about incredible players. “It’s not just one season, they have been at the maximum level for 10 years now.
“For me, 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 Eden Hazard is a fantastic player. He’s a player who makes the difference and has plenty of time to grow.”
Puyol added: “After the first leg, I think Barcelona are the favourites but you can’t be sure.
“Chelsea have shown that they are a very organised team with clear ideas about how they want to play and players up front who are very dangerous and very quick.
“They can hurt you a lot on the counter-attack, so Barcelona will have to put in a serious performance and try to score a goal because if they don’t Chelsea could hurt them on the counter.”
However, Hazard will have another chance to shine ahead of Messi in Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 clash against Barcelona at the Nou Camp.
The first leg in west London finished 1-1 as Messi cancelled out Willian’s opener with his first goal against Chelsea in nine games.