Radja Nainggolan has lavished praise on international teammate Eden Hazard, and claimed he could well win the Ballon d’Or in the future.
He also spoke about why Hazard is not currently considered for the top award – and claimed it is because he does not score as many goals as certain players such as Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo – and that if he can start to do that, he will be the very best, not just one of the best.
Nainggolan told CNN Sport: “I think he has the capacity to win it because, for me, he is a very talented player, a very good player, a decisive player.
“He makes a difference on the pitch, but the only difference between him and, let’s say, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi, is that they score much more than him.
“That is the most important thing and it’s the only difference between them, because for me Hazard is, let’s say, is in world’s top five.”
Back from injury
Hazard has handed Chelsea a boost in the time when they need it most, after coming through a game behind closed doors after his injury – and while he won’t make the cut as Chelsea take on Tottenham Hotspur, he is likely to feature sooner rather than later, with their squad size small and manager Antonio Conte moaning about the lack of players at his disposal.
That of course puts a huge amount of pressure on Hazard’s shoulders, and the player will be hoping to have another outstanding season – and show why he should be in contention for the best personal awards.
It may well take him away from Chelsea in the long run, with Real Madrid and even Barcelona linked with the winger – yet he will need to give everything for his current club as they look to bounce back from a terrible couple of weeks.