Mourinho on Hazard: "He is one of the top three in the world"

Eden Hazard had an amazing season for Chelsea and one which you would find difficult to improve on. However, Jose Mourinho believes that ...

Eden Hazard had an amazing season for Chelsea and one which you would find difficult to improve on. However, Jose Mourinho believes that with his continued improvement season on season, Hazard is now one of the top three players in the world!

What can you say about Hazard last year that hasn't already been said? He played an instrumental role in our double success (Premier League and League Cup) in addition to winning double player of the year awards (Chelsea and the Premier League).

So to this season and the basic requirement of improving on what you have achieved before. Jose Mourinho is very much a man for what is happening now and to not look back and dwell on things when there is work to be done - there will be plenty of time for that when you finish playing.

With Eden Hazard, he believes he will become stronger and stronger. He said:

"To repeat the awards I believe he has got to get better, because the normal tendency is for people to find another star.

People find somebody new to get these individual trophies. But he has all the conditions to improve. With his age he can improve. I talk to all of them [the squad]. Medical department too. I told them: ‘You have to be better.’

Two years ago we reached the Champions League semi-final but he didn’t play. He didn’t play in Madrid, he played injured at home. So he arrived in that crucial moment not in condition. Last year we didn’t do well and we were out immediately so he also needs a good Champions League. I’m not saying winning, but I say a proper Champions League. But no matter, he is fantastic.

He’s getting stronger and stronger, not just in his body, but in his attitude. He’s mentally tough. He’s not the kind of boy who overreacts. After a bad tackle he never rolls and rolls like other players do. He doesn’t try and push referees to make certain decisions. Eden is not this guy. He’s loyal and honest and gets lots of respect from opponents because of that.

I would like more protection for him, but it’s beyond my control. The only thing I can do is what I am doing and what Eden is doing, which is to work and work and work to be stronger and stronger. I don’t want to change his mentality or personality. I don’t want him crying or overreacting.

I don’t want someone to touch his shoulder and he reacts by throwing his hands in his face like some players do. I want Eden to be what he is – absolutely fantastic. Eden is coming with big status now and was voted one of the top 10 players in Europe last year. In my opinion he should be in the top three not in the top 10.

Let’s see what is going to happen but we have these people. But let’s say John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic are our captains and the others are ready to come. On the pitch Eden leads. He is not afraid to take responsibility. He is not afraid to get the team in a dark situation and bring blue sky again for the team.”

The signing of his new contract was fantastic news last season because we all know the talent he has. I agree with Mourinho, he is right up there behind Messi and Ronaldo but all he lacks is their goals. Would they score as many as they do in La Liga over here? That's another debate!

Hazard's game has evolved ever since he came here. Mourinho points out that fact when he states that on the pitch he leads and he isn't afraid of the responsibility to take the game to the opposition. When he first came he was a talent on the wing that would be involved but never to the level he is now.

Going forward, if Chelsea are to continue to be successful, we will need Eden Hazard to make the same contribution if not more than what he has given to us already. The challenge from the manager is there and Hazard has shown so far, he is more than happy to work hard at his game to improve.

What do you think of Hazard? Do you think he is right up there with Messi and Ronaldo?

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