Hazard most decisive after Messi & Ronaldo – Martinez

The Belgium boss belives the consistency displayed by the Chelsea forward places him in a bracket just below iconic figures at Barcelona and Juventus

Chelsea forward Eden Hazard is the most “decisive” player in the world after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, according to Belgium boss Roberto Martinez.

A talismanic figure at Stamford Bridge has often drawn comparisons to the very finest performers on the planet.

He is considered to have fallen short in the past, with his goal return and ability to dictate proceedings on a regular basis called into question.

Hazard has, however, starred for club and country in 2018 to position himself towards the top of the pecking order in the Premier League and further afield.

Martinez believes the 27-year-old is delivering the finest form of his career to date, with only iconic figures at Barcelona and Juventus bettering him over a prolonged period of time.

He told The Times: “At international level, I have only seen a player playing at the very top consistently. 

“If you take Ronaldo and Messi away, I don’t think you can find another player as decisive. 

“Eden has won the league at Lille, a team that didn’t have the right to win it.

“And he has won the league at Chelsea in two different projects. 

“He’s been the leader of a nation at a World Cup who got the bronze medal. 

“The consistency is there, and he is at the best moment of his career right now.”

Hazard has contributed eight goals and nine assists to the Chelsea cause this season, having been eased into domestic action on the back of his efforts in Russia over the summer.

He was, however, powerless to prevent the Blues from suffering a shock 1-0 defeat to Leicester in their most recent outing.

Maurizio Sarri has thrown in the title towel on the back of that result, with a top-four finish now considered to be the best his side can hope for.

Whether that proves enough to keep Hazard at Stamford Bridge remains to be seen, with an ambitious figure having drawn plenty of interest from Real Madrid and made no secret of his admiration for the Blancos.

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