Football Expert & Columnist
Chelsea forward praised by pundits after stunning goal against Liverpool
Last Updated: 26/09/18 11:23pm
Jamie Carragher compared Eden Hazard to Diego Maradona and Pele after his match-winning display in Chelsea’s Carabao Cup victory over Liverpool.
The Belgian came off the bench to score a stunning solo goal five minutes from full-time to complete a 2-1 success after Emerson’s header cancelled out Daniel Sturridge’s opener.
Former Liverpool defender Carragher was full of praise for Hazard’s strength and composure as he beat a number of defenders and rifled a shot past Simon Mignolet, saying it was reminiscent of some of the game’s greatest players.
“All the greatest players have the power,” said the Sky Sports pundit.
“Think of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Gianfranco Zola and you can even go back to Diego Maradona and Pele. They can’t be bullied in football. Even though they are great players, you think ‘how do you stop them?’
“You can’t knock them off the ball and he has got that power and strength in the legs and the backside.
“When the ball goes wide it’s like the best player in the schoolyard saying ‘give me the ball’. He wasn’t in a great position to receive it, but then he scored the goal.
“I said on commentary that he is the best player in the Premier League. It’s not because he scored that goal, I believe it. I think he should have been named the best player of the World Cup also.
“He is an absolute superstar. The last domestic cup game he played was the FA Cup final. He won that game by winning the penalty and scoring it.
“He won this game as well.”
Hazard hinted over the summer he wanted to move to Real Madrid, but a move failed to materialise despite the Spanish club selling star player Cristiano Ronaldo.
Carragher suspects the forward, who has less than two years left on his current deal, will be the subject of more speculation in the coming months.
“There’s definitely going to be a question asked in January or at the end of the season when he will only have 12 months left,” he added.
“Then you are into that Thibaut Courtois territory and he ended up going to Madrid.
“I’m not trying to get Hazard out of Chelsea, but when Madrid or Barcelona come for one of your players it’s so difficult to keep hold of them because it’s every player’s dream, certainly foreign players.
“Liverpool have had that with Xabi Alonso and Luis Suarez and even Cristiano Ronaldo left Man United. I think Chelsea will have a problem in the summer.”
Former Chelsea midfielder Jody Morris was also in the Sky Sports studio on Wednesday evening and argued Hazard has more talent than any other player in the club’s history.
“I think he’s probably the most gifted player to ever play for Chelsea,” he said.
“He wins games on his own. I think he has won more games than Zola did and he has scored some outrageous goals.
“Look at what he’s won at the club in terms of leagues and with teams that weren’t really up there with previous Chelsea teams, but with him in your team.
“For me, Eden Hazard is the most gifted. Whether he is the best, I don’t know. I think Lamps and JT are pretty difficult to bypass.”