​Chelsea star Eden Hazard has had his say on the on-going debate over who is the best player in the world – ​Barcelona’s Lionel Messi or Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. The Belgian international opted for the former, who got one over on his ​La Liga rival after Barça beat Los Blancos 3-0 in the Bernebéu last weekend.

Speaking on Chelsea TV, via twitter user Breathe_Messi, Hazard said:

“Of course, when you are playing football you want to play against the best – the best team, the best players in the world. (Lionel) Messi is the best player in the world.”

The long-standing rivalry between Messi and Ronaldo has been lighting up La Liga for the best part of a decade, as both players have hit their peak in the Spanish top-tier – beguiling fans and pundits alike with performances that have seen both touted as the best player in the history of the game at times.

26-year-old Hazard has been widely tipped to have the potential to step-up to the level of the two stars, but his lack of consistency for ​Chelsea has thwarted his attempts to be considered as one of the best players in the world. ​Real Madrid are long-term admirers of the former Lille man, who are thought to see the talented midfielder as potential successor to Ronaldo.

[embedded content]

Hazard has recovered well from ankle surgery in the summer, and is starting to show signs of hitting the form that has seen him become a fan’s favourite at Stamford Bridge in recent years. 

Playing in his preferred number 10 position, Hazard has forged an impressive partnership with Álvaro Morata – scoring eight goals and contributing four assists.