Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has said he would rather see Chelsea lose than for Eden Hazard to become a selfish player to reach the same level as Lionel Messi.
It follows Hazard’s team mate Cesc Fabregas belief that Lionel Messi is the only player in the world who can surpass Hazard for technical ability, but feels the Belgian needs to “be more selfish” to reach the “unstoppable” level that he should.
Ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League clash with with Southampton on Tuesday night, Conte rejected the call for Hazard to be more selfish, stating the only way to become a truly great footballer is by putting the team first.
“The first target for every great champion is to play for the team and to put your talent in the team,” Conte said. “I don’t think that a player like Messi is a selfish player. The best players in the world don’t exist without the team.
“For me, it’s sad when I listen to this, that one player must be more selfish to reach the top level. This is not my idea of football. I never will understand this. Never.
“In my team I don’t want selfish players. I prefer to lose a game than to have a selfish player. I don’t want this, I can’t accept this. I don’t want my club to one day buy me a selfish player, never.”
Chelsea reached the FA Cup final on Saturday with a 4-2 win over Tottenham at Wembley. During the clinical game, Hazard had come off the bench during the second half with Diego Costa and Fabregas. The trio changed the game, with Hazard scoring the decisive third goal for the Blues to take his tally for the season to 16.
The Belgian is likely to return to the starting line-up at Southampton on Tuesday.