Willian: I’d pick Messi over Ronaldo & Hazard CAN win Ballon d’Or
The Chelsea star believes the Belgium international, along with Neymar, can challenge the Madrid and Barcelona stars to become the best player in the world
Chelsea midfielder Willian would pick Lionel Messi over Cristiano Ronaldo and believes that team-mate Eden Hazard is capable of winning the Ballon d’Or.
Belgium winger Hazard has faced criticism from Blues boss Jose Mourinho after a slow start to the 2015-16 campaign and revealed on Wednesday that he does not believe he’ll ever be a true goalscorer like La Liga stars Messi and Ronaldo.
But Willian is convinced that Hazard is capable of one day being crowned the best player in the world, and is adamant that international compatriot Neymar will also come into contention for the Ballon d’Or award.
When asked who he would pick for his team out of the former Lille star Hazard and Barcelona sensation Neymar, Willian told Goal: “Both of them! They are players of great quality. Although they have different styles, in my opinion.
“Both are very skilled and have a lot of quality, but I think their styles are a little different. But I would choose both of them in a game to play in my team, for sure.
“I think so [Hazard and Neymar can win the Ballon d’Or]. They are two great players. I think it depends on them, but they have great potential to reach that level. So I think if they continue to develop, continue to grow, certainly they will have everything to achieve this award.”
And quizzed on who his preferred choice would be out of Ronaldo and Messi, Willian added: “Oh my, only one!?. I choose Messi.”
Willian also spoke of his admiration for former Barcelona playmaker Ronaldinho, insisting the Brazilian is his idol in football and that he thinks, in his prime, the 35-year-old was a better player than both Messi and Ronaldo.
“Ronaldinho is the biggest idol in football for me. I like him a lot. I’ve met him, but I never got to say that he is my idol. In my opinion, I think that Ronaldinho, at that time [between 2003 and 2005], was bigger than Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Of course, Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi make a lot of goals, but what Ronaldinho used to do was unbelievable. He used to be amazing on the field, and also scored a lot of goals. As his fan, I think he stopped [playing at the top level] a little early.
“If he continued to play [like earlier in his career] he would certainly be three, four, five times in a row the best player in the world. He was two times [the best player in the worl]), and then I don’t know what happened, but if he wanted to continue that way, he would certainly be five times in a row the best in the world.”