France and Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe ranks Chelsea winger Eden Hazard as the best player he has faced in 2018 despite facing the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric this year too. The Paris Saint-Germain forward came up against the Belgium international in the World Cup semi-finals and could not fail to be impressed. Mbappe won the inaugural Trophee Kopa for the best under-21 player in the world on Monday, while he also finished fourth in the running for the Ballon d'Or after his exploits for PSG and World Cup-winners France.
It was at that tournament in Russia where Mbappe came up against Hazard, as France defeated Belgium 1-0 in the semi-finals. Mbappe was particularly impressed with Hazard's sheer pace, while he also commended him for not playing with an ego, always appearing willing to pass the ball to a team-mate.
"He is the player I played against this year that impressed me the most," Mbappe told France Football. "With Belgium, in the World Cup semi-finals, he had been impressive while still respecting the game. When he has to pass the ball because the game commands it, he does it without any qualms. "I was sometimes five metres away from him and I was amazed by his speed of execution, with the ball sticking all the time to his foot, constantly processing information with his head still up. There is no space he does not see."
Hazard has carried that form into the 2018-19 season for Chelsea, with his seven goals having helped the Blues get off to a flying start under new manager Maurizio Sarri. Such performances have only fuelled suggestions that he is a target for Real Madrid, though Sarri confirmed on Tuesday that he remains hopeful Hazard will sign a new deal at Stamford Bridge. Hazard will be back in action on Wednesday when Chelsea travel to Molineux to take on Wolves. Mbappe and PSG, meanwhile, also have a midweek game to contend with as they look to recover from dropping points in Ligue 1 for the first time this season against Bordeaux on Sunday with a clash against Strasbourg.
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