Eden Hazard should not be concerning himself with trying to be the next Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid, says Idrissa Gueye, with the Belgian told to “write his own story” by his former Lille team-mate.
A big-money move took one of world football’s most creative influences to the Santiago Bernabeu over the summer.
After seven years starring for Chelsea, Hazard finally got his wish of becoming a ‘Galactico’ on the Blancos’ books.
Madrid made their move amid ongoing struggles to fill the void left in the Spanish capital by Ronaldo’s transfer to Juventus in 2018.
Hazard was considered to be a suitable successor to a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, but is yet to produce his best for the Liga giants after arriving slightly overweight and nursing a knock.
There have been signs of encouragement from the 28-year-old in his most recent outings, and Gueye believes the Belgium international needs to focus on being himself rather than looking to walk in the shoes of others.
He told Marca: “Cristiano is Cristiano. Hazard has to write his own story in Madrid. Cristiano is an inspiration for everything.
Gueye, who worked alongside Hazard at Lille before the Belgian left for Chelsea, is not surprised to see a former colleague now gracing the very top of the game.
He added: “We were together when we were young but he was already clearly a very strong player. He played in the first team even though he was younger than us and when he came down to the second team it was a pleasure to see him train.
“I'm not surprised by how far he's come. We're still friends and keep in touch. We won a historic double at Lille thanks to him because he could do everything, he scored and gave assists.”
Quizzed on whether Hazard is one of the best in the world, Gueye said: “Without a doubt. I've always said it. England is a tough place to play but he triumphed and now he'll do the same with Madrid.”
Gueye is preparing to be reunited with Hazard on Tuesday when Paris Saint-Germain take in a Champions League clash with Madrid.
The Senegalese midfielder, who joined PSG over the summer, is hoping to help keep a close friend quiet at the Bernabeu.
He is, however, prepared to admit that he would happily link up again with the Belgian playmaker if given the chance.
Asked to pick any player from Real that he would want at PSG, Gueye said: “Easy, Hazard.”