Premier League

Hiddink: Hazard must play like an amateur to match Messi and Ronaldo

Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink believes Eden Hazard has a long road ahead of him to reach the level of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and has advised the Belgium international to “play like an amateur” in order to get back to his best.

Hazard was put in the same bracket as Messi and Ronaldo by some after inspiring Chelsea to the Premier League title in an impressive 2014-15 campaign but like many of his team-mates, he has been unable to replicate that form this term.

The 25-year-old has scored just three times in 28 Premier League appearances this season and, even though he has improved in recent weeks, Hiddink feels the winger still has plenty of work to do.

“I think Eden has a long road ahead to reach the same form as in 2014-15 again,” Hiddink said at a news conference.

“It will take long for him to be at the level of someone who could win the Ballon d’Or again.

“He needs to be more consistent like the big players in La Liga. Players like Messi, Ronaldo and [Andres] Iniesta are under a lot of pressure, but they are enjoying it.

“He has a long road ahead to approach that same level.

“Players like Eden are gifted. They love to play football when the conditions are right and there are no physical problems.

“The biggest players out there love to play like amateurs and Eden needs to start playing like an amateur again as well.”

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