Cristiano Ronaldo has just won the Ballon D’ Or for this past year, 2014. If we take a step back and look at the overall scenario for Eden Hazard, he is currently in the shadow of the top two players, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo, aged 30, and Messi, aged 27, still have a few years left at the top and realistically will probably share the award for the next 2-3 seasons. The advantage Hazard has, is time. Aged just 24 years old, he has 6-8 more years to be near that conversation of world’s best player.
So, what must Eden do to win the award? Well, let’s look at the winners of the past 4 years. Lionel Messi in 2011 and 2012 and Cristiano Ronaldo in 2013 and 2014. What have they done? Messi in 2011 won both the major possible trophies available for Barcelona, UEFA Champions League and La Liga, while scoring 53 goals and getting 24 assists across all competitions. The next year, he failed with Barcelona to win a major competition, but did score 73 goals and assisting 29 more. The main factor for him was scoring 91 goals in the 2011-12 season. Ronaldo in 2013 did not win major competitions but accounted for 55 goals in the calendar year. Lastly, this year he won the Champions League, iconically, Real Madrid’s 10th and broke the record for Champions League goals in a season with 17 goals. He scored 67 across all competitions.
Reading this may be a little overwhelming for Eden Hazard fans as he does not hold a Champions League or Premier League to his name, nor has he scored 50 goals in a season. That said, the Chelsea squad look strong and so does Hazard.
For me, Hazard could win the award for world’s best player by winning both the competitions in a single season, while scoring 40+ goals in that season. The award is unfortunately given based a lot on numbers. Much of Hazard’s game is impressive through his dribbling and other stats that aren’t labeled goals or assists. By scoring 40 or more goals across all competitions, Hazard would make a name for himself as a scorer which FIFA likes to see. This because, goals win games and if he’s scoring, he’s winning games. And by winning games, winning the Premier League and Champions League, it is a tough resume to shut down. This could excel him into the elite, world class list that holds Messi and Ronaldo amongst it.
Is it possible? Yes. Is it realistic? Yes. Will he do it? I don’t know. But what I can say is that Eden controls his own destiny. If he keeps working hard and improving every day, Chelsea and Eden Hazard will reap the benefits. If he does do it, he would be the first winner in Chelsea’s history. I hope he can do it and hope he brings us many trophies and makes himself a Chelsea legend.
Keep The Blue Flag Flying High!