Eden Hazard: 'I can compete with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Eden Hazard of Chelsea celebrates scoring the first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Swansea City at Stamford Bridge on December 26, 2013
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Chelsea winger Eden Hazard targets becoming the best player in the world and claims that he can reach the same heights as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Chelsea winger Eden Hazard believes that he is capable of matching Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi after challenging himself to become the world's best player.

The Belgian has taken his fledgling career to new heights this year under the management of Jose Mourinho, scoring 11 goals in 30 games across four competitions.

While he acknowledges that he has some way to go yet, Hazard feels that he has the ability to reach the same level as Real Madrid's Ronaldo and Barcelona's Messi, who have won the last six Ballon d'Or awards between them, if he continues to develop as he has under Mourinho's guidance.

"Of course I want to be the best in the world," he told Het Laatste Nieuws. "Previously I was more worried about the game itself: football was just a game for me, I wanted to amuse myself and didn't bother what the people thought about me.

"But since I'm here at Chelsea, I've become more aware of my qualities, I guess. Before I knew I was a good player, but not one of the better players in the world. I've matured. On the pitch, I haven't changed much. I'm still the same, but I realised that I'll have to perform consistently, game in, game out.

"Now I realise that I can compete with Messi and Ronaldo in the near future, if I put in some more effort. I don't know if I will ever reach their level. It'll be hard, they have incredible stats, but I accept the challenge."

Hazard joined Chelsea from French outfit Lille in a £32m deal in the summer of 2012.

Jose Mourinho the Chelsea manager walks off the pitch following his team's 3-2 defeat during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Chelsea at Britannia Stadium on December 7, 2013
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