Eden Hazard settles Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi GOAT debate with controversial answer
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Eden Hazard has settled the Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo GOAT debate with an answer which could anger fans of the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star.
But the Belgian failed to live up to his hefty price tag at the Bernabeu, managing just seven goals in 76 appearances over the course of four injury-ravaged seasons in Spanish football.
Despite that disappointing spell, the recently retired Hazard has now claimed he was technically a better player than Ronaldo, who scored a record 450 goals in just 438 games for Real Madrid.
During an interview with L'Equipe, Hazard weighed on the debate between Messi and Ronaldo.
"Individually, Messi is perhaps the only one," said Hazard.
"I loved watching the Barcelona player, less so at the end, but he's the greatest in history.
"It's impossible to take the ball away from him. 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, but at Real, you've got the best, also in terms of their careers: [Karim] Benzema, [Luka] Modric, they were the best, [Toni] Kroos, Kevin [De Bruyne], they all exude football."
While both Messi and Ronaldo are still continuing their professional careers with Inter Miami and Al Nassr respectively, Hazard announced his retirement from football at the age of 32 in October.
Hazard has denied he could have had a longer career if he had followed the same fitness regime as Ronaldo.
"No. It wouldn’t have been me," Hazard added.
"After training, soaking in the cold bath for an hour, no. Leave me alone, with my friends, we go home, play cards, have a beer.
"I play for two hours with my friends. Children in the garden. It was my recovery. If I had been like Cristiano, I would have been burned out."