BARCELONA

"Hazard is at the same level as Messi", says Barcelona legend Eto'o

Speaking at the presentation to make the start of the LaLiga season, former Barcelona star Samuel Eto'o said that Real Madrid's Eden Hazard is on par with Lionel Messi.

"Hazard is at the same level as Messi", says Barcelona legend Eto'o

Several legends of the past two decades were in attendance for the official presentation of the new LaLiga 2020/21 season, with Andrés Iniesta and Iker Casillas opening the event, while ambassadors Fernando Sanz, Fernando Morientes, Samuel Eto'o, Gaizka Mendieta, Luis García and Diego Forlán also participated.

But it was Samuel Eto'o who had the most pertinent comments, with the former Barcelona striker discussing his former club, Lionel Messi and Eden Hazard with his trademark calm and natural tone.

Barcelona will win LaLiga, says Eto’o

Barcelona were beaten to the league title by rivals Real Madrid in one of the worst seasons in recent memory for the Catalan outfit, which culminated in an 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter final.

But with the Messi saga now resolved, Eto’o believes Barça will come back stronger next season to reclaim their LaLiga title. 

“Barcelona is going to be the next league champion, but I want Mallorca, the team of my heart, to return to the top tier,” said Eto’o, who played for Mallorca from 2000 to 2004, regarding his desires next season.

Messi and Eto'o shared a dressing room for five years at Barcelona.

Eto’o: Hazard and Messi on same level

When asked about Messi, who was mentored by Eto’o during the Argentine forward's breakthrough years at Camp Nou, the former Cameroon international was clearly delighted by his former team mate's decision to stay at Barcelona.

“Messi is like my son. He has stayed and so I'm happy. But the heart of this team needs more Barcelona-style players, players who are tiki-taka, not box to box," said Eto'o.

Eto’o also revealed that he believes Real Madrid's Eden Hazard "is on the same level as Messi”, and he would like “to see a great (Sergio) Busquets at his best level again."

"When he is, Barcelona always win titles," he added.