Eden Hazard Better Than Cristiano Ronaldo

Eden Hazard stated that he is a better pure footballer than the Cristiano Ronaldo. Let's look into how he really stacks up!

Eden Hazard, ex-Belgian international and Premier League legend, stated earlier this month in an interview with L’equipe his stance on the Messi versus Ronaldo debate and where he fits between them. 
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Hazard was asked if any player was better than him, and he said, “Individually, Messi is perhaps the only one. He is the greatest player in history. Unplayable, and impossible to take the ball from him, he’s just unbelievable. Cristiano is a greater player than me but, in terms of pure football, honestly, I don’t think so.”

It’s okay to think that Lionel Messi is the greatest pure footballer ever. Messi makes everything look so simple with the way he plays. He can create magic out of nothing and win you the game.

What Is Pure Football?

But Hazard saying that he’s a better pure footballer than Cristiano is a hot take. When I think of pure football, I think of what you as a player can do with the ball. It can be striking the ball, dribbling, ball manipulation, technique, and intelligence. For me, if you are a pure footballer, you approach soccer as an art and make it look easy. Still, you do not have to excel in every part of the game, just a couple areas and be good in others. A perfect example of this is Sergio Busquets. The Spaniard has excellent ball manipulation, he can twist and turn his opponent with simple yet effective dribbling. His ball striking is very good in some areas. His short range passing and passes to break the lines are one of the best, but he wasn’t a great finisher.

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Ronaldo Now

Ronaldo’s longevity has been used against him in this era of soccer. People only remember what he did in his last years with Real Madrid, his time in Juventus, the Manchester return, and what he’s doing now with Al Nassr. During this time he became a natural goal scorer, a fox in the box. He didn’t dribble as much as he used to and focused on scoring goals for his team. As a result, people just see him as a poacher now, but forget how he was before his knee injury. 
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Pre-Knee Injury Ronaldo

When Ronaldo won the Ballon d’or in 2008, he was the best version of Cristiano until his knee injury in 2014. He had everything; something the sport had never seen before. Ronaldo was electric on the ball, could take on multiple people, and had insane dribbling and flair. He holds the record for most dribbles in a game with 20. That game wasn’t just against nobody, it was away against Benfica in the Champions League. He is also in the top 10 of most successful dribbles since 2009 with a little over 50 percent success rate. He is the only player in the list that is over six foot tall.

The flair that Ronaldo had was on par with the likes of Ronaldinho and Ronaldo Nazario. He made the sport fun and made people want to play. He was so quick with his feet, he made every defender look dumb.

Cristiano has a ball striking package that almost no soccer player has. He can score  a goal from any distance and has insane power behind his kicks. He has so many iconic goals where he has shot from over 30 yards like the Porto game in the Champions League. His free kicks during his prime were unstoppable. The dip, power, and unpredictability when he shot a free kick made it so difficult for the goalkeeper. There’s a reason why he’s part of the top 10 players with the most free kicks in history.

He can shoot with either foot and his head. Ronaldo is part of the top 10 players with most left footed goals since the 2000s, even though he’s right footed. He is also the player with the most headed goals in history and he has more goals with his weaker foot and head than a lot of soccer players throughout their career.

Honestly, even Ronaldo’s playmaking is underrated. He has the vision to break the lines or make a beautiful through ball. He can also be part of a tiki taka play or make a long ball. A lot of people try to discredit this side of Cristiano because he scores so many goals now and plays as a pure striker. But, apart from being the highest goal scorer in the Champions League he also has the most assists with 42.

Cristiano is one of the most intelligent players in history. He is so decisive with the ball and rarely makes the wrong move. When everyone thinks the game is over, he makes the impossible happen. Just give that man the ball.

Hazard vs Cristiano

I’m not saying Hazard is a bad player, he just isn’t as good as Ronaldo. Hazard has some of the same qualities that Ronaldo has like his dribbling, but Cristiano does everything more efficiently. He can do what Eden does, but with goals and assists, and that’s what you want from any player. During his prime he became the only player to score 60 plus goals for four consecutive years. You can argue that in those four years he was the most complete forward we have ever seen.