‘Hazard A Fantastic Player, But Not At Same Level With Messi, Ronaldo’ – Former Barca Captain, Carles Puyol
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Ahead of tonight’s UEFA Champions League Round-Of-16 second leg fixture between FC Barcelona and Chelsea, a former Barca captain has revealed his thoughts on Chelsea star player, Eden Hazard.
Carles Puyol (captain of Barcelona for 10 years) has weighed in on the highly anticipated match, saying that the Blues mercurial attacker Hazard is a fantastic player who can win games but he is not yet at the level of leading La Liga players, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Puyol, who won 21 major trophies (including 3 UEFA Champions Leagues) with Barcelona, sided his former team as being favourites to progress to the quarterfinals of the competition.
The La Liga leaders take an advantage into the match tonight after scoring a crucial away goal by Lionel Messi at the first leg in London 3 weeks ago, the match ended 1-1.
However, the ex-Spanish national team player noted that you can’t be so sure about who qualifies as he explained that the Stamford Bridge side can defend well and have great attacking ideas also.
In an interview with Sky Sports which was obtained by NIGERIA NEWS, Puyol said: “I don’t think he’s at their level yet.
“We are talking about incredible players. “It’s not just one season, they have been at the maximum level for 10 years now.
“For me, Messi is the best player in the world and in history. It’s impressive what he’s doing every year at an exceptionally high level, breaking records, getting better and better in more aspects of his game.
“So to compare him with Messi or Ronaldo is difficult, but Eden Hazard is a fantastic player. He’s a player who makes the difference and has plenty of time to grow.
“After the first leg, I think Barcelona are the favourites but you can’t be sure.
“Chelsea have shown that they are a very organised team with clear ideas about how they want to play and players up front who are very dangerous and very quick.
“They can hurt you a lot on the counter-attack, so Barcelona will have to put in a serious performance and try to score a goal because if they don’t Chelsea could hurt them on the counter.”