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Chelsea's Eden Hazard plays down Messi comparisons

The Blues' new 21-year-old midfielder is happy to be compared with the World Footballer of the Year, but admits it is an exaggeration to say he is as good as the Barcelona star

Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard feels that it is an exaggeration to say that he can be as good as Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

The Belgian joined the Champions League winners from Lille for £32 million this summer and is expected to take the Premier League by storm.

However, the 21-year-old says that he is not fazed by the high expectations on his shoulders, although he did dismiss comparisons between himself and Messi, already regarded as an all-time great by many.

Hazard told The Sun: “Messi is the world’s best player and it’s a bit of an exaggeration to say I can be that good.

“But I am happy if people see similarities between us, and being compared to Messi makes me think about what I can achieve with Chelsea rather than the obstacles I need to overcome to get there.

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“Ultimately it’s the coach who will decide if I play in a similar role to the one Messi plays for Barca but I am looking to succeed the Eden Hazard way.”

The Belgian revealed that the Blues beating Bayern Munich to lift their first Champions League trophy helped convince him to join them.

“Chelsea had the most convincing argument for me to join and obviously being the Champions League winners was a big factor in my choice," he explained.

“Chelsea is a fantastic club with fantastic players and they can give me the best possible chance to progress as a player.

“It’s a slightly less important reason but London is also a bit closer to Belgium than Manchester and I can get home a little easier from here.”

Hazard had attracted interest from Europe's top clubs but says that he only had eyes on the Premier League.

“I have a particular affinity to the Premier League. It’s the best league in the world and it’s a really exciting challenge to be a part of that," he enthused.

“The atmosphere inside the stadiums is better than anywhere else in the world and it’s also a very competitive league with a lot of teams capable of winning it.

“Last season showed it is always an exciting competition and when you look at what Manchester City have been doing in the last couple of years, you know they will continue to progress.

“Moving to England is stepping up to a different level and definitely involves more pressure. But I am ready for that.”

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