Eden Hazard is a player under pressure, yet to kick on at the World Cup - and admits he is tiring of the expectation.
He feels anybody anticipating Lionel Messi - like displays should downgrade their expectations.
"Of course he is four years older. But I have to focus on my own performance. This comparison between the two of us actually does not make sense."
Hazard only has himself to blame however, for it was he who engineered such talk in the first place.
He told L'Equipe earlier this year: "'I'm much younger than them. They have won things that I haven't, but I'm as good as they were at my age. If I want to be like them I need to win trophies."
Attempting to downplay expectation at this point is all fine and well, but is Hazard right, really, that Messi is 10 times the player he is, as the two prepare to go head-to-head in the upcoming Belgium v Argentina World Cup quarter-final?
Statistics show the Premier League star is slightly exaggerating, to suit his own ends.
|Team||Goals||Assists||Key Passes||Won Dribbles||On Target Scoring Att||Mins|
Messi's four goals to Hazard's none is obviously incomparable, but in other key attacking areas the Belgian matches up well.
Hazard actually has more assists than Messi, despite creating fewer chances, and his dribbling has been prolific - although not quite as much as the Argentine.
Disregarding personal achievements like the two Champions Leagues and four Ballon d'Or wins of the Barcelona attacker, and basing a comparison purely on World Cup displays and like for like on where they are right now, Hazard is not a million miles behind.
He does have a long way to go to match up with Messi's overall football contribution, but he should not sell himself too short either.