Chelsea boss Antonio Conte wants his playmaker, Eden Hazard to keep putting the team first before himself – and has denied any claim that the Belgian star must be ‘more selfish’ to become an outstanding player.
The Belgium international made a very good impact as a substitute as Chelsea won Tottenham 4-2 in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final.
Eden Hazard has been an essential player in the blues bid for a capable double and scored his 15th goal of the season against Spurs, who are four points behind them on Premier League table with six games to go.
Afterwards, his teammate Cesc Fabregas declared his belief that Hazard was second in ability only to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and can improve if he becames more “selfish” and displays a greater “killer instinct”.
However, Conte believes players can only be great by playing as part of the team.
“The first target for every great champion is to play for the team and to put your talent in the team,” Conte said. “I don’t think that a player like Messi is a selfish player.
“The best players in the world don’t exist without the team.
“For me, it’s sad when I listen to this, that one player must be more selfish to reach the top level. This is not my idea of football. I never will understand this. Never.
“In my team I don’t want selfish players. I prefer to lose a game, than to have a selfish player.
“I don’t want this, I can’t accept this. I don’t want my club to one day buy me a selfish player, never.”
Chelsea could complete the double in Conte’s first season in charge after moving forward to the final on the 27th of May -where they will come head to head with the Gunners.
But they have to respond from two losses in their last four Premier League games - to Crystal Palace and Manchester United, starting at home with Southampton on Tuesday night.
And Conte is not too sure if his men have struck a mental blow by beating Spurs.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” Conte said. “I think for us it was important this win. You reach the final in the FA Cup, a great competition. And for us it’s great.
“It’s great to know when after a week we finish the championship we have to play a final in the FA Cup.
“These are two different competitions and we have six games to go. It’s important to start this rush (of fixtures) very well, to try to keep these four points (the lead).”
The Blues play at sixth-placed Everton on Sunday in what looks to be their toughest remaining game.
Three matches in eight days follow - at home to relegation-threatened Middlesbrough, at West Brom and against Watford at Stamford Bridge.
Their Premier League season comes to an end against Sunderland who are currently sitting at the bottom on the 21st of May.
While Tottenham will have to battle with fixtures against Crystal Palace, Arsenal, West Ham, Manchester United, Leicester and Hull City.
Conte also said: “First of all it’s important to win for us and to look at ourselves.”