Jose Mourinho: Eden Hazard can be a true great

CHELSEA manager Jose Mourinho has called on Eden Hazard to prove his talent as one of the greatest players of his generation on the eve of the Blues’ Champions League Group G opener with Schalke.

Jose Mourinho: Big admirer. Picture: Getty
Jose Mourinho: Big admirer. Picture: Getty

The Portuguese boss expects the Belgian playmaker, signed for a reported £32million from Lille in 2012, to agree a new contract despite having three years to run on his existing deal, as a reward for his ever-increasing influence at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho was at times critical of Hazard last season, perhaps because he felt the forward was capable of so much more.

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“His talent allows him to think about going from a top player to become one of the greats of his generation,’’ said Mourinho. “We are very proud that he thinks Chelsea is the perfect environment for him to have that evolution.

“That’s why he wants to commit to us and we want to commit to him for the future too. It will be a question of time, but it will end with a new contract.’’

If Hazard’s individual aspirations are lofty, so too are Mourinho’s, with the possibility he could become the first manager to lift the European Cup with three clubs.

He denied the quest to follow his 2004 win with Porto and 2010 success with Inter Milan is an “obsession”.

“To win with three clubs is unique,’’ Mourinho said. “But it’s far from being an obsession and it’s not something that I think about a lot. Even if I don’t do it, how many top managers in the world have only one or even not a single one?

“The greatest in our country [Sir Alex Ferguson], he won it twice. Do I want to try to win it again? Of course. But in this moment I only think about ‘don’t play Europa League’.

“We have a championship of six matches and three opponents [in Group G] and we have to do everything to qualify.’’

Chelsea twice beat Schalke 3-0 last season en route to the Champions League semi-finals and have begun the Premier League season in scintillating style, with four wins from four games.

“We are far from perfection,’’ added Mourinho, who has a fully-fit squad after Didier Drogba shrugged off an ankle knock.