Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has urged Stamford Bridge superstar Eden Hazard to do even more with his immense talent to ensure he can always be ‘decisive’ in as many games as possible, but admits the Belgian lacks the driven mindset of a Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi.
Earlier this week, team-mate Alvaro Morata named Hazard as one of the top three players in the world alongside Ronaldo and Messi, and Conte would appear to agree that the ability to match them is certainly there if his glowing review is anything to by.
“Eden, in every game, he finds a way to be decisive, to score or to make an assist for a team-mate. I love this,” Conte is quoted as saying by Sky Sports ahead of the huge weekend clash with Manchester City.
But the Italian also added, “If God gives you this talent, you must exploit this talent. My task is sometimes to try to push him to be decisive in every moment, in every game.
“This season has started for him with a big game against Atletico Madrid and now he has to show this season that he deserves to stay at the top with the best.”
The difference Hazard now needs to implement if he is to ever reach the same level as players like Ronaldo and Messi is to match their hunger for goals, Conte says.
“If [Hazard] scores one goal, he’s happy and then, if there is another situation, he prefers to make an assist rather than scoring twice,” the boss explained. “If [Ronaldo] scores once he wants two, three, four. It’s the same for Messi.”
Hazard’s best goalscoring season to date remains the 22 he scored in all competitions for Lille in 2011/12. His best for Chelsea is 19 from 2014/15, while he netted 17 overall last season.