EDEN Hazard has been challenged to prove he deserves to be on the next world player of the year final three.
Chelsea’s star man was on the initial shortlist for last night’s glittering ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall, but was edged out as Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mo Salah were the last men standing.
But Hazard’s Belgium boss Roberto Martinez feels his man is good enough to become genuine football royalty over the next 12 months.
Martinez said: “International individual awards are very difficult to assess because they are so subjective.
“Everyone has their own view. When you see some attacking players they do not have that consistency.
“But Eden, and that’s after working with him for more than two years now, has been very consistent.
“Eden has been involved in 26 goals in his last 26 games for the national team. That is world-class level.
“All we want is for him to carry on enjoying that football because with the talent he has you want to see that. He has also brought some fantastic leadership to the national team.”
The Belgian chief added: “I’m not the best to judge a player compared to others that I’m not working with but at the national team with his level of contribution that has been so consistent.
“That’s even more the case when you consider he is a player who is always highlighted by the opposition to stop his threat in games.
“I’ve seen Eden at a sensational level in the World Cup and he’s carried that on with Chelsea this season.”