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Lampard the ideal role model for Hazard, says Mourinho

ESPN staff
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Eden Hazard has been one of the driving forces behind Chelsea's rise to the top of the Premier League © PA Photos
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Jose Mourinho believes Eden Hazard should follow the example of Frank Lampard because there is no better example of a professional player.

Mourinho has been lavish in his praise of Hazard this season with the Belgian having flourished into one of the English top-flight's most exciting talents.

Zlatan 'one of the best I've coached'

  • Like Manchester United, Chelsea's European ambitions remain intact. Jose Mourinho's team take on Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarter-finals, which will see the coach come face-to-face with former player Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
  • The striker was a member of the Inter Milan squad when Mourinho moved to the San Siro in 2008 and, contrary to other opinions, Mourinho insists Ibrahimovic was not difficult to manage.
  • "Zlatan Ibrahimovic was easy," Mourinho told Yahoo Sport. "I don't understand why people say that it's difficult to work with strong personalities. What is difficult is to work with people who don't want to win, or who don't want to improve.
  • "When you are in charge of 'a winner,' a person who always wants to win, who wants to be the best and isn't afraid of great responsibility, it's very easy to deal with them. I only coached him for a season and it was a good experience. For me, he's one of the best players I've ever coached."

Hazard's impressive form has caught the eye of big-spending Paris Saint-Germain, but Mourinho believes his star player should look a bit closer to home for inspiration.

"I think Eden has great examples to follow at Chelsea. He doesn't need to look outside the club to find the best examples to follow," Mourinho told Yahoo Sport.

"We have Frank Lampard who is 35 and is, of course, at the end of his career. There is no better example of a professional player than him for Eden and everyone else."

Hazard has been central to Chelsea's rise to the top of the Premier League table, though they are far from certain to pick up the English crown they last won in 2009-10.

Should Manchester City win their two games in hand, they will go three points clear at the top of the table, but with four teams still in the running at this late stage in the season, Mourinho said the Premier League is more competitive than ever.

"The Premier League is a very difficult league," Mourinho said. "It's very different to how it was in the past. I don't remember a season in which four teams were still in contention for the title with seven games left.

"It's difficult for everyone, not just Manchester United. As the reigning champions, they were among the favourites but they're out of contention now. That can happen to any team as it's very tough."

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