Cesc Fabregas has urged Chelsea colleague Eden Hazard to be more selfish and close the gap on the world’s best player, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
The Belgium international has been a talismanic figure for the Blues again this season, with his introduction off the bench in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final clash with Tottenham helping to turn the tide in that tie.
His efforts have not been enough to land him another PFA Player of the Year award, with that prize going to club team-mate N’Golo Kante, but Hazard is considered to be among the global elite once more.
Fabregas certainly has him in that bracket, with a man who has played alongside some of the finest talent on the planet of the opinion that the 26-year-old forward can get even better.
“Ability wise, there is only one player above Eden, and we all know who that is: Messi. Eden is up there with the best,” Fabregas said after witnessing Wembley heroics.
“But I’ve told him many times, he needs to be selfish and have that killer instinct – then he will be whatever he wants to be.
“Eden is pushing to that level, and we have to help him. Sometimes when it’s two against two and he passes, I tell him ‘Score yourself. Do it’. He has to do it more often, be more selfish, as all the top players are. Then he will be unstoppable.
“You never want to accept being on the bench. Whoever you are. But it can happen.
“For us (Tuesday’s) game against Southampton is very important, and maybe that had something to do with it. It worked really well. At 2-2 you put them on with half an hour to go, they change the game and you win.”
Chelsea’s 4-2 victory over Spurs came on the back of a testing defeat to Manchester United which has opened the door to the their closest rivals in the Premier League title race.
Having seen the Blues offer a perfect response to that setback, Fabregas has taken the opportunity to hail the collective spirit within the Stamford Bridge camp.
He added: “One of the positive things about this season is that every time we had a defeat or a draw, we bounced back quickly.
“When we scored the first goal everyone on the bench was celebrating. The togetherness we had, people coming on with no ‘Oh, I was on the bench’ attitude, coming on to make a difference. We’re full of winners.”