Chelsea football club midfielder Willian picked Barcelona forward Lionel Messi over Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo for the Ballon d’Or award, but believes teammate Eden Hazard will surely clinch the best player award soon.
Belgium winger Hazard faced criticism from club boss Jose Mourinho after a slow start to the 2015-16 campaign.
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“I choose Messi over Ronaldo for the best player award,” Willian was quoted as saying by goal.com on Thursday.
But Willian is convinced that Hazard is capable of one day being crowned the best player in the world, and is adamant that his international compatriot Neymar will also come into contention for the Ballon d’Or award.
“I think so Hazard and Neymar can also win the Ballon d’Or. They are two great players. I think it depends on them, but they have great potential to reach that level. So I think if they continue to develop, continue to grow, certainly they will have everything to achieve this award,” he said.
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Willian spoke of his admiration for former Barcelona playmaker Ronaldinho, insisting the Brazilian is his idol in football and that he thinks, in his prime, Ronaldinho was a better player than both Messi and Ronaldo.
“Ronaldinho is the biggest idol in football for me. I like him a lot. I’ve met him, but I never got to say that he is my idol. In my opinion, I think that Ronaldinho, at that time (between 2003 and 2005), was bigger than Messi and Ronaldo,a Willian said.