Eden Hazard is Chelsea’s “ace” and a man with comparable talents to Real Madrid talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, says Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand.
The Belgium international has been a key figure for the Blues this season as they chase down the Premier League title – with victory over Middlesbrough on Monday leaving them just three points short of claiming the crown.
Hazard has contributed 16 goals to the Chelsea cause in all competitions, earning him a place in the PFA Team of the Year and sparking talk of interest from Madrid.
Ferdinand believes the 26-year-old is of a similar standard to a star turn already at Santiago Bernabeu, with the ex-England international having seen Ronaldo’s ability at close quarters during their time together at Old Trafford.
He said in The Times: “Hazard has improved his movement and, of course, he is Chelsea’s ace, just like Cristiano was ours.
“Playing against him, I found that when he received the ball his awareness of where people are was brilliant and his low centre of gravity meant he could roll people.
“Patrice Evra is small but a superb specimen who used to physically dominate wingers because of his strength, speed and low centre of gravity.
"But then he came up against Hazard and you were thinking, 'Wow, this kid — you don’t want to be coming up against him too much, Pat'.
“Pound for pound, Hazard was the same shape, strength and size and he was rolling Patrice inside and outside.”
Hazard is approaching the end of his fifth season at Stamford Bridge.
In that time he has helped Chelsea to Premier League, League Cup and Europa League glory, with a top-flight and FA Cup double still on the cards this season.
He has also made close to 250 appearances and netted 71 goals.