Media Watch: Messi's bold Mount prediction justified, Hazard linked with Chelsea return and former Blues goalkeeper speaks out on UEFA

In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, Lionel Messi's previous prediction on Mount is justified, Hazard is linked to a return to Stamford Bridge and a former Blues goalkeeper accuses UEFA of treating players like 'robots'.

These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.

Messi’s bold Mount prediction justified

Lionel Messi has had his Mason Mount prediction justified, after the Blues midfielder was nominated for his first ever Ballon d’Or.

In a report by the Mirror, the Argentinian was full of praise for the 22-year-old when speaking about Mount just last year and it appears his statement has been proven right. 

‘In March 2020, just as the global pandemic began, the Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina forward said of the Chelsea midfielder: "Having watched him play he has the potential to be one of the best",' the report states.

Mount himself has branded the feat as ‘special’, after joining the 34-year-old on the shortlist for this year’s coveted prize.

‘For all the years you work hard, dedicate, and see something like that, it shows that everything pays off. It's just the start. It doesn’t stop now,’ the story continues. 

A return to Chelsea for Hazard?

Chelsea have reportedly opened ‘informal talks’ with club legend Eden Hazard, amidst speculation the Belgian is not happy at Real Madrid.

Hazard left the Blues for the Spanish capital in June 2019 after seven years at Stamford Bridge. The 30-year-old won six trophies whilst with Chelsea, including two Premier League titles.

The Daily Mirror, citing a story published by El Nacional, are reporting that early negotiations are ongoing, with both parties informally discussing a potential deal.

‘Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is increasingly convinced that Eden Hazard would be one of the best players in the world if he wore blue at Stamford Bridge again,’ the report states.

‘The Belgian player, fed up with his bad experience in Madrid, sees with very good eyes the option to return to Chelsea, where he managed to be one of the best footballers in the world.’

Hazard has had a stop-start time at Los Blancos, managing just 51 appearances so far with his time at the club majorly affected by injuries.

Courtois criticises UEFA for prioritising money over player welfare

Former Blues goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has accused football governing bodies of prioritising money over the welfare of footballers, who he says are treated like ‘robots’.

The Belgian shot-stopper played twice for his country in the Nations League during the international break.

In a story covered by the BBC, citing his interview with Sky Sports after Belgium’s 2-1 loss to Italy on Sunday, the Real Madrid player criticised UEFA’s priorities.

‘This game is just a money game, we have to be honest about it," the report states.

‘We just play it because for UEFA it is extra money and it is an extra game on TV.

'OK, for us it's a good game because it's against Italy and for Italy it's a good game because it's against Belgium, but look how much both teams changed their players - if we had both been in the final there would have been others playing.’

Chelsea number nine Romelu Lukaku and loanee Michy Batshuayi were also in the Belgium squad.

‘This just shows that we play too many games,’ Courtois continued. ‘Next year we have a World Cup in November, we maybe have to play until the latter stages of June again. We will get injured, and nobody cares about the players any more.

‘After a long season we will have to play four games in the Nations League again, we will have two weeks' holiday and that's not enough for players to be able to continue playing 12 months at the highest level.’

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