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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Mar 6, 2014

Hazard: Mourinho can make me the best

Two late tallies from Didier Drogba and Max-Alain Gradel pulled Ivory Coast back to draw with Belgium.

Eden Hazard believes he can overtake Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to become the best player in the world -- but says he needs to be twice as good as he is now.

Eden Hazard has been Chelsea's outstanding player not just of late, but of the whole season.
Eden Hazard has scored 14 goals this season for table-toppers Chelsea.

• Hirshey: Letter to Mourinho
• Worrall: Super Schuerrle

Hazard, 23, has been in fine form for Chelsea this season, scoring 14 goals to lead the Blues to the top of the Premier League and leading to Jose Mourinho describing the Belgium international as "the best young player in the world."

Real Madrid forward Ronaldo beat Messi to the Ballon d’Or in January, but Hazard is determined reach their level -- and is confident his manager's aggressive approach will help him achieve his goal.

"It was nice of [Mourinho] to say that, but the important thing is that I'm always testing myself and always challenging myself to do better," he said.

"It is also good that Mourinho is always in my face, telling me what he thinks, whether it is good or bad. That really keeps you on your toes as a player and is good for my progression.

"I would like to be considered the best in the world, but there is a gap at the moment. What do I have to do to close it? Score goals, go past players, pass the ball. Basically the same as now, only two times better.

"I have to excel at the highest level week in week out, but I cannot claim to be doing that yet. I think I have proved myself in the Premier League, but I have to do the same in the Champions League.

"That is the ultimate stage to judge yourself on. I have to show what I can do at that level, against the best around."

Hazard played just under half an hour for Belgium in their 2-2 draw with Ivory Coast on Wednesday -- Hazard's 40th appearance for club and country this season -- and the forward insists he is in good shape despite the glut of fixtures.

"Our national coach [Marc Wilmots] understands that the volume of matches we have had at Chelsea might be weighing down on me and that I might benefit from a breather, but I'm actually feeling in good shape," he continued.

"I had some great spells at Lille, where my confidence was really high, and I'm feeling that way at Chelsea now. I just need to strive for consistency.

"I had a bad first half at Fulham last Saturday and just couldn't get going. Then suddenly in the second half, I was moving and doing the right things without even thinking. I need to do that more often and over 90 minutes.

"The Champions League is a goal for us as well as the Premier League, so it could be a hectic and demanding build-up to the World Cup. But it would mean so much to do well in Brazil and I'm sure I will be ready."

Hazard, meanwhile, has been quick to alleviate fears that he will miss Chelsea's vital league clash with rivals Tottenham on Saturday.

Hazard picked up a knock when he came on in Wednesday's friendly when he was clattered by Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote.

"It hurt, but I think I can play this weekend," he told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. "After 20 seconds I got a kick. A nice welcome, but I'm not worried about the injury."

Wilmots added: "His boot was damaged, but Eden hasn't twisted his ankle."

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