Hazard vs Bale vs Neymar – Who Is The Best After Messi And Ronaldo?

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Updated: May 17, 2015

Watching Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo fight it out to be the best player in the world is an absolute treat for any football fan in this generation. The two epitomize the best of everything in football; hard work, genetic gifts, finesse and power. Caught up in the fan-battle of who’s better – Messi or Ronaldo, we tend to overlook the fact that both are nearing towards the inevitable end of their playing careers. Very soon, we will be part of a footballing community where both Messi and Ronaldo have retired and new stars will be vying for the Ballon D’Or.

When the question regarding the heirs apparent of the two pop up, the common names thrown into the ring are those of Gareth Bale, Neymar and Eden Hazard. All three have lit up their clubs with their performances and have been improving at such a rate that these ‘sub-geniuses’ will be ready to elevate into the category of genius, vacated by Messi and Ronaldo after their retirement. So, coming to the present, which player among the three looks the best bet to stake a claim to be world football’s best after the two big guns retire.

Gareth Bale:

 

_69604274_gareth_bale_mm_getty_v2

Gareth Bale has had an indifferent season so far, being subject to a lot of vitriol from the Madridistas. While a lot of that criticism is poorly aimed at him – an unlucky scapegoat in a grossly underperforming team, he too hasn’t helped by missing some easy looking chances, like the header against Juventus that would have propelled Real into the CL finals. Fans will surely look back at his Copa Del Ray final sprint and goal from last season and feel that this season is just an aberration in the Madrid career of a true Galactico.

Bale’s rise has been meteoric. A few years ago, he was Assou-Ekotto’s understudy at left-back at Tottenham and soon the Southampton-trainee became the attacking mainstay of the Spurs side that demolished sides of better quality in their sole Champions League run. Then subject to a year of courting by Real Madrid that culminated in a world record transfer, he had a scintillating first season. Initially marred by injuries, he churned in match winning performances that endeared him to the Real faithful.

 

Neymar:

 

Neymar Is Unveiled At Camp Nou As New Barcelona Signing

Brazil’s new poster child and Pele’s new ‘next-me’, Neymar has been a sensation since he broke onto the scene as a teenager with Santos. Subject to a transfer battle between Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea, he signed for the Catalans in a deal that was exposed to have involved more money than the Bale transfer. Not letting the scrutiny of the deal affect himself was a tall order and he did not sparkle in his first season. This season, his second in Spain, has seen him churn out goals like anything.

He has been excellent this season as Barca have all but won the league and are in the CL finals. During Messi’s brief spell of indifferent form, he led the attack well in tandem with the added bite of Luis Suarez. His goals ensured that Bayern were knocked out and has found a place in the hearts of the Barcelona faithful who are well used to seeing dazzling attackers.

 

Eden Hazard:

 

Chelsea v Stoke City - Barclays Premier League

While Bale has a never-say-die attitude with the added power and Neymar has a terrific array of skills, Hazard is one blessed with both. This wouldn’t have been true of the 2012-13 Hazard, but under Mourinho he has catapulted from the inconsistent star to Chelsea’s mainstay. When Chelsea were playing excellent, flowing football, Hazard was a treat to watch. But his best performances came when Chelsea reverted to efficient, counterattacking football. He was the team’s sole match winner during the period Costa was out suspended.

Among the three mentioned, Hazard is the one to have had the most impact on his team’s season. Maybe it is because Chelsea aren’t at Real or Barca’s level, but surely one has to take into account the fact that the Premier League is the most difficult league to play in for small-ish attackers. Hazard surely has to improve his goalscoring if he wants to reach the level of Messi and Ronaldo that he so badly wants to. But then, he is more of a playmaker in the mould of an Iniesta or a Zidane rather than the two. But that doesn’t make him any less of a genius.

 

Squawka Scores:

 Scores

This clearly how much of a disappointment Bale’s season has been as Neymar and Hazard have raced clear on the scores. Neymar has had the better season in front of goal and that shows in the attacking score. But Hazard has the best defensive score among the three, despite Chelsea not employing the aggressive pressing Barca are known for.

 

Goals and Shots:

Goals

No surprise to see Hazard at the last of the goals scored column, but it has more to do with the fact that he takes fewer shots than his rivals. Taking a ratio of goals/shots, his numbers look better but he still needs to take more shots. As the old saying goes, you never win the raffle if you don’t buy a ticket.

 

Playmaking:

 Playmaking

Hazard is the best playmaker in this lot without a shred of a doubt and these numbers prove the assertion correct as Hazard creates more chances than either of these two. Bale’s greater assist numbers arise from having Ronaldo as a teammate, as he’s a guy who rarely misses.

 

Take Ons:

 Take Ons

Hazard has some of the best successful take on numbers despite playing in the most difficult league in the world in terms of space allowed to run into. He has made a mockery of defences this season and efforts to stop him by double or triple-teaming too have proven to be futile.

 

All three can only get better as they rack up more games under their belt. But right now, I would rate Hazard as the most likely to reach the top rather than Neymar and Bale. He might never be an A-grade goalscorer, but playing without the lurking shadow of Messi or Ronaldo over his shoulder and learning from the very best in Jose Mourinho, Hazard has all the tools to express himself without any constraints. But then, it could just as well be my inner Chelsea fan speaking!

Stats Courtesy – Squawka

22 Comments

  1. bralama godfrey

    May 17, 2015 at 10:00 AM

    hazard is best at of two neyman and bale

  2. NWUJU LINUS

    May 17, 2015 at 10:28 AM

    Hazard is simply the best based on what do know, i will advice him not allow any distraction make him loose focus. I know he will grow very well

  3. Christopher ben

    May 17, 2015 at 11:14 AM

    I belive that Hazard will be the best player in the world after Messi and c. Ronaldo

  4. Obiora Maxi

    May 17, 2015 at 1:12 PM

    Hazard is a beta choice if compared 2 neymar and bale

  5. adegoke ibrahim

    May 17, 2015 at 2:08 PM

    I love Eden Hazard and he is my best player in the world. hazardoussssss

  6. slanszy

    May 17, 2015 at 2:52 PM

    i think hazard is just the best.

  7. uche

    May 17, 2015 at 9:26 PM

    i love watching hazard tactics, he is d best

  8. amber

    May 17, 2015 at 9:31 PM

    he is simply the best

  9. Afari Ibrahim

    May 17, 2015 at 10:37 PM

    Hazar is the best after MS10 & CR7

  10. Ogundokun Rafiu

    June 3, 2015 at 11:48 PM

    EDEN HAZARD IS FAR BETTER THAN NEYMAR AND GARETH BALE, THIS IS THREE BEST PLAYERS IN THE WORLD, CHRISTIANO RONALDO, LIONEL MESSI & EDEN HAZARD.

  11. Sam

    July 7, 2015 at 12:17 PM

    Difficult to separate Hazard and Neymar. I feel like when the messi/ronaldo rivalry closes, we will have a rivalry between hazard and neymar. Hazard is probably a bit better at the moment but neymars growth over the course of 2014/2015 was fenomenal. It’s a privilege to watch these great players play. Bale good but not in their league, although the s**t he has taken from madridstas is not fair.

  12. Noah

    July 16, 2015 at 12:38 PM

    I fell ike even now neymar is better by far

  13. Joshua

    July 18, 2015 at 7:38 AM

    Neymar is a boss compared to hazard

  14. vaibhav

    July 20, 2015 at 1:37 PM

    Neymar is clearly the best. Neymar has scored against athletico, Real Madrid, Bayern, Juventus, PSG this season. Certainly a big game player.

  15. alexander

    July 20, 2015 at 2:17 PM

    hazard is simply the best

  16. Thabo

    July 21, 2015 at 12:13 PM

    Neymar is the best be far now

  17. chudier jiing

    July 26, 2015 at 12:49 PM

    As we all can see so far, Hazard is the world’s number three after Messi and Ronaldo.

  18. Canisio Mabwe

    July 27, 2015 at 2:43 PM

    Neymar is the king…extra-terrestrial

  19. Acb

    July 30, 2015 at 8:28 AM

    Hazard is best of all is more better than Neymar and Bale….

  20. Bia kromah

    July 30, 2015 at 11:46 PM

    Hazard

  21. rolar116

    August 8, 2015 at 7:08 PM

    Two different players, but I would say Neymar is and will be better than Hazard. Neymar’s role with Barça is way more goal-oriented, but if you look at what he does with Brazil, he creates a lot more. He has been able to carry Brazil’s weakest side in decades to the world cup’s semi final (in which he didn’t play due to injury). Hazard didn’t show that dominance with Belgium even though Chelsea relies on him a lot.

    Also, don’t forget that Neymar is a year younger than Hazard. At 23, Messi was just beginning to score goals in unbelieveable amount and if I recall, he won his first Ballon d’or at that age.

  22. Frank Otoo

    December 22, 2015 at 4:44 PM

    l consider that nyemar is more better than that of bale and hazard

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