Wednesday, 2nd November, 2011

In-demand Belgian star Eden Hazard has played down Lionel Messi’s brilliance.

Following the announcement of the nominees for the 2011 FIFA Ballon d’Or, Messi was once again installed as favourite to scoop the accolade as he continues to dazzle the football world.

But for Hazard, while the Argentine is undoubtedly the best player in the current game, he lacks a little of the style and elegance of past legends.

"Let’s be clear", said the 20-year-old to Extra-time, "he is the best of all at the moment.

"But, in my view, he lacks a touch of the aesthetic elegance that [Zinedine] Zidane or [Michel] Platini had."

And Hazard also believes that perhaps the Ballon d’Or should go to a different individual this year, even if it is simply as a recognition of a long and successful career rather than a confirmation of the planet’s most talented player.

"Many players deserve it for their entire career, as [Thierry] Henry or [Ryan] Giggs", commented the Belgian.

"Last year, [Wesley] Sneijder deserved it, but I would also have given it to [Andres] Iniesta, Xavi or Cristiano Ronaldo."

   Latest Features:

Follow Inside Futbol on Twitter