Lionel Messi speaks on Eden Hazard replacing Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of the first EL Clasico of the season on Wednesday.
Real Madrid were made to suffer after Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure last season while Barcelona romped to their second successive La Liga title. Los Blancos came back with a vengeance this season in the transfer market and made some impressive moves including breaking the bank to bring Eden Hazard from Chelsea.
It was believed that the Belgian would fill the void left by the Portuguese star and was even handed the legendary no.7 shirt. However, barring a few flashes of brilliance, Hazard has had a largely uneventful season at the Spanish Capital.
Barcelona and Real Madrid are set to go head to head in the first El Clasico of the season. Blaugrana star Lionel Messi was asked ahead of the clash what his opinions on Eden Hazard were and was he capable of succeeding Cristiano Ronaldo in Real Madrid’s line-up in the long term.
Lionel Messi speaks on Eden Hazard replacing Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of the EL Clasico
While speaking with Marca, Lionel Messi said:
“Hazard has a lot of quality. He is a different football player who can unbalance [defences], but I think he is different to Cristiano, with different characteristics.
“It is very difficult to replace Cristiano, but Hazard is also a great player.”
In the same interview, Messi also revealed that he enjoyed playing at the Bernabeu.
“When we play at the Bernabeu, many more spaces are generated. They attack us more because they have the obligation as the host team and people push them for that.
“At the Camp Nou, they play another type of match; sitting a little further back, they are closer together and hit on the counter-attack because they have very fast players upfront.
“At the Bernabeu, we play 90 minutes equally. Here the game becomes more locked and is more complicated.”
Real Madrid and Barcelona will lock horns on Wednesday for the first time this season. Both of the clubs are placed at the 1st and 2nd position with 35 points each. Barcelona lead on goal difference. With the league having run so close with 16 games already in, this match and their next clash could very well decide who ends up winning the La Liga this season.
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