West Ham's Nolan and Cresswell name Chelsea's Hazard as their toughest opponent

Hazard Dribble - Chelsea v Maribor

West Ham United duo Kevin Nolan and Aaron Cresswell were full of praise for Chelsea's Eden Hazard.

West Ham duo Kevin Nolan have named Chelsea’s Eden Hazard as their toughest opponent from this season, on the club’s official website.

The Belgian was in fine form for Jose Mourinho’s side this season with a string of scintillating displays across the campaign, as they secured their first title in five years and a Capital One Cup triumph as well.

He was also named both the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year and the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of Year, such were the quality of his performances.

Now, both Nolan and Cresswell have named his as the 'hardest' opponent they have faced this year.

“The hardest opponent we have faced this year has got to be Eden Hazard,” said Nolan.

“The reason he got the PFA Award this year was because he deserved it. He was fantastic at their place on Boxing Day and was very good and scored the goal at Upton Park, so he made the difference.”

Relatively speaking, Hazard is still young in the game, with his steady development at Chelsea having gone to another level under the guidance of Mourinho this season.

He is now widely regarded as one of the best players in the world, with some even claiming he is not far from being at the same level as the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

While he still has some way to go to reach that standard, Cresswell thinks he is easily in the top five in the world.

“I’d certainly put him in the top five at the minute,” he added.

“He’s got everything – he is fast, he is strong, he is powerful and he is skillful. I think he’s been fantastic this year and has got everything to be one of the best players in the world.”

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