Samuel Eto'o believes Real Madrid's marque signing of the summer Eden Hazard is "close" to Lionel Messi's level.
Hazard swapped Chelsea for Real Madrid in a transfer worth £88 million and ahead of his debut season in La Liga, the ex-Real Madrid and Barcelona forward has backed the Belgium ace to deliver in Spain's top flight and win the Ballon d'Or.
"Hazard has to win the Ballon d'Or," Eto'o told Marca.
The Cameroonian also reckons Hazard is almost at the same level as the Barcelona superstar.
"He hasn't been valued enough but now he's at one of the best teams in the world all eyes will be on him," he added.
"He's close to Messi's level and I hope that he plays Barcelona when he's not at 100 percent."
Hazard enjoyed a brilliant campaign last season as he chipped in with an impressive 16 goals and 15 assists in the Premier League.
However, Messi scored 36 goals and set-up a further 13 during the 2018/19 term.
Hazard scored a brace and provided an assist on his final Chelsea appearance in the Europa League final and following the game, his former teammate Cesc Fabregas said he's in with a shout to win the Ballon d'Or.
"Unfortunately, I don't think Chelsea at this moment can give him what he deserves," the Spaniard said after Chelsea's European triumph over Arsenal.
"In terms of potentially winning absolutely everything, and even talking about the Ballon d'Or... I know he says he doesn't mind about it, but deep down he does. He really wants to win the Champions League.
"I think that there is currently a ceiling at Chelsea and he can go so much higher than this ceiling at a club like Real Madrid because these clubs - Real Madrid, Barcelona, now Manchester City, Bayern Munich - always come back."
Is Hazard at the same level as Messi? Let us know what you think.
- Eden Hazard insists he can still do ‘great things’ despite admitting he is not the player he once was
- Journalist stuns Eden Hazard by asking if he's gained weight, then asks for a selfie
- Close-up view of Lionel Messi's celebration shows how much the goal meant to him, it was pure emotion
- Argentina's assistant manager was reduced to tears after Lionel Messi's goal against Mexico