The stat that reveals where Chelsea's Eden Hazard is better than Lionel Messi

Eden Hazard 2

Eden Hazard has completed more dribbles per game than Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.

The Chelsea star has been one of the key performers in Chelsea’s ascent to the top of the Premier League table this season, laying on assists as well as scoring goals for his teammates.

With five goals and two assists in all competitions for the Blues this season, the Belgian international forward has wowed audiences with his classy play, and he appears to be learning how to work for the team, excelling in a defensive capacity since Jose Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge.

At the age of 23, Hazard is coming into his prime at the same time as many would suspect Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to start declining, and the former Lille man is touted as a future Balon d’Or winner, having already been named Premier League Young Player of the Year last season.

Whilst he is still off the level of Messi and Ronaldo, there is one aspect of his play where he outperforms the duo - the number of dribbles he completes every game.

Hazard has completed 33 dribbles in just four games in the Champions League this term, a remarkable average of 8.3 per game. In comparison, Messi has completed 6.5 per game - a total of 26 overall.

Incidentally, the duo have attempted the same number - 45 - but Hazard’s ball retention has been of a higher standard, completing a higher percentage.

This impressive stat also carries over into their respective league form, with Messi attempting more dribbles than Hazard, but completing fewer - of 87 attempted, 41 have been successful. For Hazard, he has attempted 82 dribbles, and completed an impressive tally of 54.

The Belgian is highly thought of for his ability to hold onto the ball, and his turn of pace has him float past defenders as if they weren’t there - notable in the Premier League fixtures against Arsenal and Manchester United. If he can improve his finishing ability - a surprising weak point considering his composure on the ball - the Balon d’Or is surely just a few years away.

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch