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Eden Hazard once settled the Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo GOAT debate in private chat

Eden Hazard once settled the Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo GOAT debate in private chat

He made his feelings clear.

Eden Hazard once settled the debate over who is the better player between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Former Chelsea and Real Madrid star Hazard, 32, announced his retirement on Tuesday morning with an emotional statement after years of injury troubles.

"You must listen to yourself and say stop at the right time," wrote Hazard, confirming his decision.

At one point in his career, Hazard was viewed by some – including his brother Thorgan – as the third best player in the world behind Messi and Ronaldo.

After scoring 110 goals in 352 games for Chelsea, Hazard got his dream move to Real Madrid in a £89m transfer.

But he spectacularly failed at the Bernabeu, as persistent injuries restricted him to just 76 appearances in four seasons at the club.

Back in 2019, while he was still at Chelsea, Hazard emphatically settled the debate over who is the better player between Messi and Ronaldo during a conversation with then teammate John Obi Mikel.

Mikel told The Athletic: "I've always said that one of the players who was the most gifted, had everything - pace, power, skill, technique - is Eden Hazard.

"He was just behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. But it was only if he wanted to be. He was that good.

"He said it himself sometimes, 'If I want to be as good, I can be as good. Not as good as Messi because he is from a different planet but I think I can get close to Ronaldo or maybe even better'.

"These are the words that came out of his mouth but he is not that dedicated to the game. He doesn't train well, he is the worst trainer I've played with."

Mikel's warning over Hazard's commitment was recently echoed by Real Madrid star Toni Kroos, who took a swipe at the Belgium international shortly before his departure from the Spanish club at the end of the 2022/23 campaign.

"We had another player who came for a lot of money and basically let his career die," said Kroos.

"It was a lot of money, I think everyone would say that wasn't a good transfer. But let's be positive."

Kroos added that he did not feel sorry for Hazard despite his injury struggles.

"Of course it's a difficult situation, but pity is out of place in football," added the German.

"I don't think Eden has a bad life. You can feel sorry for people who have a much worse life than him. It's not about money, I don't feel sorry for anyone in football."

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Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Football, Eden Hazard, Chelsea