Eden Hazard is one of the most talented footballers of the last ten years.
Besides, although Hazard has never boasted the consistency of some of his contemporaries, there's no denying that the dizzying heights of his finest seasons were nothing short of world-beating.
Questions about Hazard's effort
However, there have always been questions raised about Hazard's effort and commitment that lead us to safely assume that he lacks that extra 1% to reach Ronaldo and Messi's level.
And we say that because countless former teammates have named Hazard as the laziest trainer they've ever seen and how could we possibly forget the Mario Kart story?
Combine that with Hazard allegedly being drunk during his final Lille game and you can start to paint a picture that, although an undoubtedly inspirational athlete, there are certainly harder-workers in the sport.
But what Hazard lacks in effort, he makes up for in self-belief, because former Chelsea teammate John Obi Mikel has revealed the Belgian thought that he could surpass Ronaldo.
Hazard's private Messi vs Ronaldo comments
However, in a telling piece of inside information, Mikel explained that - by contrast - Hazard was under no illusion that he could ever reach Messi's level.
According to the Mirror, Mikel told The Athletic: “I’ve always said that one of the players who was the most gifted, had everything — pace, power, skill, technique — is Eden Hazard.
"He was just behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. But it was only if he wanted to be. He was that good.
"He said it himself sometimes, ‘If I want to be as good, I can be as good. Not as good as Messi because he is from a different planet but I think I can get close to Ronaldo or maybe even better’.
"These are the words that came out of his mouth but he is not that dedicated to the game. He doesn’t train well, he is the worst trainer I’ve played with."
GIVEMESPORT's Kobe Tong says
For me, this fascinating insight from Mikel sums up the difference between Messi and Ronaldo.
It makes sense to me that working hard to become like Ronaldo is far more feasible than trying to match Messi in such a manner.
By that I mean, Ronaldo is more a product of grit and determination - that's by no means a criticism, by the way - whereas Messi's greater foundation of talent has made him into a more unique footballer.
In other words, one can't help feeling that Ronaldo is the 'final boss' of football: the place you end up when you work harder than anybody else.
Messi, on the other hand, is an entity of entirely idiosyncratic and extraterrestrial skill and there is most certainly no route map to that.News Now - Sport News