As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Alexis Sanchez has seemingly caused a stir online by saying he’s good enough to be considered in the same bracket as superstar duo Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – seen as the world’s best players.

With topics such as these, it’s always going cause a conflict of opinion, but considering comparisons arose between Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and the aforementioned duo, this news is no surprise to me.

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LILLE, FRANCE – JULY 01: Hazard (pictured, no.10) was spectacularly poor for Chelsea last term and apart from his display against Hungary, also disappointing at this summer’s European Championships.(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

As a firm believer that Sanchez is better than Hazard in more ways than one, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be in the same bracket as the world’s best – mainly because he deserves to be recognised as such.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JUNE 26: In comparison, Alexis was instrumental as Chile won the Copa America earlier this summer - winning the Golden Ball for the Player of the Tournament. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – JUNE 26: In comparison, Alexis was instrumental as Chile won the Copa America trophy earlier this summer – also winning the Golden Ball for the Player of the Tournament. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

In terms of goals and assists, Alexis has silenced his doubters effectively by settling into life in England well since his lucrative move two years ago. As it’s seen as Europe’s most physical and competitive league, 25 goals and a further 12 assists (all competitions) is an excellent tally to accumulate especially for your first season.

Since then, he’s enjoyed periods of fantastic form alongside equally frustrating displays too – just like every player has and will continue to experience during their career. He’s been fortunate with injuries, and it’s hard to forget he was a Barcelona player for three seasons before his switch to the Emirates.

With that being said, critics and rival supporters seem to have memory problems because they’ve slated his recent comments as absurd, even though he’s ultimately a world-class player in a good Arsenal team.

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WATFORD, ENGLAND – AUGUST 27: Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal (L) celebrates scoring his side’s second goal during the Premier League match between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage Road on August 27, 2016 in Watford, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

But in reality, he’s not wrong with his statements.

As quoted by Sport, he said that he’s “reached a level” where he’s able to “compete with great players”. That’s true.

“I do not feel inferior to anybody. I liken [my qualities] to Messi and Ronaldo, I have the same abilities as them.” This is also true, so why the backlash?

Messi and Ronaldo both contribute to their respective sides heavily – the focal point in attack, and they have a cutting edge in front of goal. Alexis is not only a key component of Arsenal’s attack, he is also able to encourage team-mates by working tirelessly off-the-ball in an attempt to win possession back. It’s something that has a ripple effect as he leads by example, both for Arsenal and his native Chile – emphasised by his 101 national team appearances at the age of 27.

Granted, he doesn’t score as many goals in comparison to the duo.

With that being said he’s equally as important to Arsenal and has proven his quality in three of Europe’s top five leagues, therefore his statements may be bold but they’re more than justified.

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Football writer. Objective reviews and analysis of European football. Lifelong Arsenal fan, youth football enthusiast.