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English Premier League

Hazard: I'm No Artist Like Messi

Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard has refused to put himself in the same category as FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, who he described as an artist with a football.

Reports: Messi To Sign New 5-Year Deal Next Month

The Belgium international, who has been linked with Real Madrid of late, seems to be back to his best this season, having played a crucial role in the Premier League leaders' campaign so far this season.

Hazard's impressive performances have seen him being compared to the likes of Messi in recent weeks, but the player is not getting carried away with all talk around him.

"For me, the real artists are (Zinedine) Zidane and Ronaldinho. (Juan Roman) Riquelme as well for the way he moves and passes the ball," the playmaker told France Football.

"And then there is Messi. What he does with the ball is something else. I do not see myself at that level. It is up to others to make such comments. I am not going to proclaim myself an artist like him.

"I just want to bring happiness to the fans. The people who come to the stadium want to enjoy themselves and see a spectacle. It is up to us, the players, to make them happy.

"I have been a creative player ever since I was a child. You cannot practise it. Of course, I have worked hard to get where I am, but it is a skill I have that I have improved. It is natural to me. But you have to do it at the right time.

"The ball is my friend. We go way back. He is my most faithful friend. I caress the ball, but that is not always easy when I dribble. I can caress it when I shoot, like Thierry Henry. I can treat the ball like a woman, like a friend, like an elderly person."

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The 26-year-old has made 32 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea this season, scoring 11 goals and assisting six further strikes.

Do you think Hazard has the ability to match Messi? Have your say in the comments section below.

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