?Chelsea star Eden Hazard has had his say on the on-going debate over who is the best player in the world – ?Barcelona’s Lionel Messi or Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. The Belgian international opted for the former, who got one over on his ?La Liga rival after Barça beat Los Blancos 3-0 in the Bernebéu last weekend.

Speaking on Chelsea TV, via twitter user Breathe_Messi, Hazard said:

“Of course, when you are playing football you want to play against the best – the best team, the best players in the world. (Lionel) Messi is the best player in the world.”

The long-standing rivalry between Messi and Ronaldo has been lighting up La Liga for the best part of a decade, as both players have hit their peak in the Spanish top-tier – beguiling fans and pundits alike with performances that have seen both touted as the best player in the history of the game at times.

26-year-old Hazard has been widely tipped to have the potential to step-up to the level of the two stars, but his lack of consistency for ?Chelsea has thwarted his attempts to be considered as one of the best players in the world. ?Real Madrid are long-term admirers of the former Lille man, who are thought to see the talented midfielder as potential successor to Ronaldo.

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Hazard has recovered well from ankle surgery in the summer, and is starting to show signs of hitting the form that has seen him become a fan’s favourite at Stamford Bridge in recent years. 

Playing in his preferred number 10 position, Hazard has forged an impressive partnership with Álvaro Morata – scoring eight goals and contributing four assists.