Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has questioned Cristiano Ronaldo’s standing as the world’s best player, while praising Stamford Bridge star Eden Hazard.
Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or in January but ended the season trophyless from a team perspective as Real Madrid fell short on all fronts.
And Mourinho, who coached Ronaldo during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu, believes individual honours should come after success with club or country.
Asked if he believed Ronaldo should not be considered alongside Barcelona’s Lionel Messi as one of the world’s best two players, Mourinho said: “I think so. I don’t like players or managers to win individual trophies without the team. Obviously depending on the season they have.
“They have to win some titles, no? Football without titles is nothing.
“Messi won the treble. He won three competitions last year, he reached the Copa America final [with Argentina]. He had a fantastic season for him and for his team.
“I am not saying he [Ronaldo] is not fantastic. I am just saying that, in my personal view, every football player in the world should understand that a team has to be in front.”
Hazard’s qualities have seen him become the most fouled player in the Premier League and Mourinho is worried the attacker could pick up a serious injury.
“Eden was very lucky not to break a leg last season,” he added. “He’s getting stronger and stronger, not just in his body but in his attitude. He’s mentally tough. He’s not the kind of boy who overreacts.
“After a bad tackle he never rolls and rolls like other players do.
“But the reality is that last season he was lucky – let’s see what happens next season. He could have been injured many times. He suffered more than a couple of nasty tackles and could have been in trouble. I saw lots of players breaking legs and ankles with less than that.
“I would like more protection for him but it’s beyond my control. I don’t want to change his mentality or personality. I don’t want him to start crying or overreacting. I want Eden to be what he is – absolutely fantastic.”
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