The pair of footballing titans have been the standard-bearers in world football for nearly 15 years now, raising the bar with their ridiculous numbers and clutch performances on the big stage.
Hazard has been one of the players in the bracket just below, having scored 110 goals and won two Premier League titles and a slew of individual awards during a wonderful stint at Chelsea.
The highest he’s ever finished in the Ballon d’Or rankings is eighth after a stunning 2018 and Hazard’s comments to teammate John Obi Mikel regarding Messi and Ronaldo are particularly interesting.
Mikel told The Athletic: “I’ve always said that one of the players who was the most gifted, had everything – pace, power, skill, technique – is Eden Hazard.
“He was just behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. But it was only if he wanted to be. He was that good.
“He said it himself sometimes, ‘If I want to be as good, I can be as good. Not as good as Messi because he is from a different planet but I think I can get close to Ronaldo or maybe even better’.
“These are the words that came out of his mouth but he is not that dedicated to the game. He doesn’t train well, he is the worst trainer I’ve played with.”
Unplayable at Chelsea, Hazard’s dream move to Real Madrid was intended to propel to further greatness but it has had the quite opposite effect.
Since joining in 2019, Hazard has suffered 11 different injuries and featured just 25 times in La Liga for Los Blancos.
While there have been flashes of his brilliance, persistent injury problems have stunted his progression and it has frustrated manager Zinedine Zidane.