Chelsea

Antonio Conte advises Chelsea star on how to finish higher in Ballon d’Or rankings

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has challenged star Eden Hazard to win as many trophies as he can in the coming seasons if he wants the Ballon d’Or.

The 26-year-old Belgian has been a vital part of Chelsea’s team since his arrival at the club from LOSC Lille in 2012. However, while Eden Hazard has suffered from form issues over the last few seasons, this season has seen him return back to his 2014/15 player of season form, with eight goals and seven assists despite missing the start of the season.

Eden Hazard

However, the Belgian international was ranked in 19th place in this year’s Ballon d’Or list, eleven places behind PFA player of the year and teammate N’Golo Kante. But with Cristiano Ronaldo walking away with his fifth Ballon d’Or, it looks like Eden Hazard was disappointed with the result as he had a memorable campaign last season, even winning the title.

But Antonio Conte believes that Hazard does have the potential to eventually win the coveted trophy, but he needs to become much more consistent. “‘I’m surprised,” said the Chelsea boss, after being asked about the 26-year old’s ranking. “I am repeating always the same concept: if you want to win the Ballon d’Or you have to win the Premier League, you have to win the Champions League, you have to win the World Cup, the European Cup.

It’s important to have a great, great win. But for sure Eden is a young player and he has the potential to improve his place in this table. But at the same time I like to repeat that if you want to reach the best you have to win. Last season we won the league, but maybe two years ago Hazard wasn’t in the table.

Eden has the right characteristic to try to fight with these giants so then he has to try to do this and to improve his position in this (Ballon d’Or table) in the next year. He has the potential to do this but it is not simple to overcome this chance.”

Since his return from injury, the Belgian has impressed for Conte’s Chelsea side and his return has coincided with a bright run of game for the Blues. While he did miss the start of the 2017/18 season after a surgery over the summer, the forward has shown signs of getting back to his best and a few have called him the best number 10 in the Premier League.

Antonio Conte further added “I think now it is not right to talk aout Eden because we all know the importance of these players for Chelsea. He is an important player for us and during games he can make the difference for us. This is important.”

Author’s take:

Eden Hazard has been linked with a move away from Chelsea for quite some time now, with potential destinations including both Barcelona and of-course Real Madrid. However, while there is a slim chance of him leaving in January, Antonio Conte will need the Belgian at his very best if he wants to win another Premier League title.

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