Lille's Eden Hazard is ready to follow in the footsteps of Barcelona's Lionel Messi, claims Jean-Pierre Papin

The former France international is full of praise for last year's Ligue 1 Player of the Year and feels the Belgian attacker can become a true great
Former France international Jean-Pierre Papin has voiced his opinion that Lille attacker Eden Hazard has the qualities to follow in the footsteps of stars such as Brazil international Ronaldinho and Barcelona ace Lionel Messi.

At the tender age of 20, Hazard has already won several individual honours and the attacker was named Ligue 1 Player of the Year in 2010-11.

His impressive performances have not gone unnoticed elsewhere, and clubs such as Arsenal, Juventus and Real Madrid have been linked with the Belgium international in the past few months.

"Eden Hazard is simply an extraordinary player. He can do things with the ball at his feet that very few others can replicate," Papin was quoted as saying by La Derniere Heure.

"If he continues to develop like this, he will follow in the footsteps of players like Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi.

"He's such a great talent and a joy to watch for the fans. Supporters come to the stadiums to see players like him in action."

Hazard has a contract with Lille until the summer of 2015.