Chelsea’s Lionel Messi must use Club World Cup record to repeat Eden Hazard Premier League feat – Daniel Childs


Kai Havertz could try to turn Didier Drogba’s Chelsea career upside down.

He is only 22 but now finds himself in Chelsea folklore for a Champions League winning goal and making the Blues world champions for the first time ever.

But those moments clash drastically with the majority of his disappointing Stamford Bridge career. Just six Premier League goals in 43 appearances does not reflect a player capable of such legendary moments.

When Drogba kicked the winning penalty in Munich, there was no doubt that it was the talismanic protagonist to do so.

Havertz scoring the Club World Cup-winning penalty continues a nice trend of big goals in the final, but it stands in stark contrast to a fairly disappointing season.

If he repeats the feat on the 27th of this month against Liverpool, it will only enhance his growing reputation as a ‘big game’ player.

There is also the glory of being able to equal a record held by Lionel Messi since 2011 of scoring in the final of the Champions League and the Club World Cup.

He’s in excellent company, the kind some fans would have hoped he could emulate when he signed for the club in 2020.

The generational tag surrounded him as one of Europe’s star performers and there were comparisons to Eden Hazard’s arrival eight years earlier.

But in a domestic sense, Havertz still feels miles away from the player Chelsea invested £71m almost two years ago.

Even on Saturday against Palmeiras, the German hardly influenced the game in free play, he remained on the periphery.

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There were good positions taken in the first half, but his decision-making when receiving the ball was sorely lacking.

Unlike attacking partner Romelu Lukaku, the game as a whole wasn’t one to offer much evidence of a change in form, but his single spot kick defined the game.

Isn’t that what great players do?

Kai Havertz scored the winning penalty as Chelsea lifted their first-ever FIFA Club World Cup
Kai Havertz scored the winning penalty as Chelsea lifted their first-ever FIFA Club World Cup.

Hazard has scored game-winning penalties in Cup finals, such as the 2018 FA Cup win over Manchester United and hammering Arsenal in the 2019 Europa League.

But in both games his influence in open play was equally instrumental – winning the penalty against United and scoring and setting up another against Arsenal.

When Chelsea return to the Premier League at Selhurst Park next Saturday, there’s a very good chance Havertz will remain in the line-up, boosted by another historic moment.

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The winning penalty in Abu Dhabi should prompt a sign of more lasting and lasting progress to become one of the Blues’ most influential figures.

However, he could stay on the sidelines for another six months and then appear with another game-winning goal that lands another piece of silverware.

Isn’t that reimbursing the fees? Hasn’t he already done it in Porto?

Havertz’s history at Chelsea is both frustrating, erratic but littered with moments of ecstasy.

Kai almost looks like the living embodiment of Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea.

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