Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were the leading attractions at the World Cup, but now that they have been sent packing, Belgian Eden Hazard believes it might be his time to shine on the biggest stage.
Both players have won the Ballon d’Or, football’s biggest individual prize, every year between themselves since 2008 – five each. However, Messi’s Argentina lost 4-3 to France and Ronaldo’s Portugal were beaten 2-1 by Uruguay in the last 16 on Saturday.
It leaves room for others to grab some of the limelight, which France’s Kylian Mbappe did in style in Kazan by outshining Messi.
Four years ago, Hazard’s then manager at Chelsea Jose Mourinho said: “Ronaldo and Messi are Ronaldo and Messi. Eden Hazard is probably the best young player in the world with legs to go there, but give him time.”
Hazard, 27, has so far, however, disappointed in major tournaments.