Lionel Messi recently said that it's difficult for Real Madrid to replace Cristiano Ronaldo. Simultaneously, the Argentine star has backed Eden Hazard. So far, Hazard has failed to play as per expectations in Spain, following his big-money transfer from Chelsea to Spain.
Hazard, has scored only one goal for Real since signing a deal that could eventually reach a value of a staggering £150 million.
The Real bosses hoped that Hazard would produce similar magical displays as their former star, Cristiano Ronaldo. However, experts claim that the Belgian has failed to justify his weekly salary of £400,000.
However, it seems that Messi thinks that Hazard will return to his magical form in time. Ahead of Wednesday's El Clasico at the Camp Nou, he spoke to reporters regarding Hazard and the biggest match in La Liga.
He said, "Hazard has a lot of quality. He is a different football player who can unbalance [defences], but I think he is different to Cristiano, with different characteristics. It is very difficult to replace Cristiano, but Hazard is also a great player. When we play at the Bernabeu, many more spaces are generated. They attack us more because they have the obligation as the host team and people push them for that. At the Nou Camp, they play another type of match, sitting a little further back, they are closer together and hit on the counter-attack because they have very fast players up front. At the Bernabeu, we play 90 minutes equally. Here the game becomes more locked and is more complicated.'"
More than seven weeks have passed since the initial date when these two teams were supposed to meet at the Camp Nou. This match will decide which team leads La Liga before the Christmas break.
Table leader Barcelona and second place holder Real Madrid will face off while both teams are standing on equal points. Leading up to El Clasico, they have played 16 games and have collected 35 points each. However, because the Catalans won one match more than their arch-rivals, they are leading the La Liga table.
Out of the last four Clasico encounters at home, Barcelona could win only once. Last season, they convincingly won the game 5-1. This year too, Barcelona players and supporters will wish to repeat a similar performance.