The Belgium international was outstanding for the Pensioners last season as they won the Premier League title.
During a magnificent campaign under previous coach Jose Mourinho, Hazard scored 14 goals and contributed nine assists in 38 league outings, emerging as the division’s star performer in the process.
However, this season, the former LOSC Lille attacker has failed to come close to replicating his previous form.
He has managed just three goals and three assists in 28 showings, and has fallen way short of expectations during a miserable campaign for the Blues.
Speaking to the media ahead of the West London heavyweights’ trip to Sunderland on Saturday, Hiddink has indicated that he doesn’t believe Hazard can return to the same level as the likes of Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona icon Lionel Messi any time soon.
“It will take a lot longer,” the Dutch manager began [as per the Daily Mail], when asked how long it would take for the forward to return to his best on a consistent basis.
“To win a Ballon d’Or or whatever then you need more consistency in performances and then you go to players who have huge pressure and they enjoy it, like Ronaldo, Messi or (Andres) Iniesta, they enjoy it very much but they have more consistency in their performance.
“It is a long way for him to knock on that door,” he continued.
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“When this guy is fit, physically, then he can play as nature has gifted him. The gifted players, they love to play like amateurs and he has to play as an amateur again,” Hiddink proceeded.
“He’s not the most ecstatic guy but he trains and he laughs and he enjoys it well. Before when he was not fit and every now and then on the pitch you could see a face of frustration.”