English Premiership

Conte: Hazard can reach Messi and Ronaldo's levels

2016-07-18 22:05
Eden Hazard (AFP)

Cape Town - New Chelsea boss Antonio Conte sees no reason why the likes of Eden Hazard can't consistently play at the same level as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

After winning the PFA Player of the Year award in 2015 as his dazzling displays helped Chelsea to the Premier League title, Hazard went off the boil last season as Chelsea endured a nightmare campaign.

The Blues finished 10th in the standings and Jose Mourinho was sacked midway through the season while Hazard's first goal of the season only came in April.

Hazard, though, showed signs of what he is capable of for Belgium during recently concluded Euro 2016 and Conte feels he can improve further.

"Last season was very bad for the players,” the Italian is quoted as saying in the Daily Express.

"When you have great players in a team with great character, and Hazard is one of them, the expectation can be very high. It is important for us to get Hazard back to his best condition, technically, physically and mentally. I spoke with him and I am very happy to train a fantastic player like him.

"Chelsea have players with great talent, who can become top, top, top players.

"At the moment the world doesn’t think they’re at the same level as (Lionel) Messi or (Cristiano) Ronaldo or Neymar. But there are players that can reach this level, I’m sure.

"The players must believe that they can become top, top, top. It is important for the manager to take the best and try to improve them."

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