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Eden Hazard claims he was better than Ronaldo in ‘pure football’

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Friday, September 20, 2019 – Eden Hazard finds his way past PSG’s Ángel Di María on Wednesday, but his first start for Real Madrid was a night to forget for the Belgian. Photograph: Michel Euler/AP

Former football star Eden Hazard has asserted that he was better than Cristiano Ronaldo despite the latter’s greatness.

Hazard, who joined Real Madrid from Chelsea in 2019, struggled to meet expectations during his injury-plagued stint.

During his time at Madrid, Hazard was handed the iconic No.7 shirt, succeeding Ronaldo, the club’s all-time leading goal-scorer. However, Hazard’s impact was limited, with seven goals and 12 assists during his injury-riddled tenure.

Having retired from football at the age of 32 in October 2023, Hazard reflected on the Messi-Ronaldo debate.

“Individually, Messi is perhaps the only one. Cristiano is a bigger player than me, but, in terms of pure football, I honestly don’t think so. Neymar, maybe. After that, he’s no better than me,” in an interview with L’Equipe.

Despite the bold claim, Hazard admitted Messi’s unparalleled greatness, describing him as the best in history, emphasising Messi’s exceptional ball control.

In contrast, Ronaldo, who now plays for Al-Nassr, etched his name in Real Madrid’s history with 450 goals in 438 matches, winning 15 trophies, including four Champions League titles and two La Ligas.

Recently, Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr secured a 6-0 victory over Inter Miami in a friendly. However, a rematch could be on the horizon, with Inter Miami expressing a desire for a second chance against Ronaldo and his team.

As Messi and Ronaldo continue to make headlines in their respective new chapters, Hazard’s bold statements add an intriguing twist to the ongoing discussions about football’s greatest players.

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