Eden Hazard

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Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard 2.jpg
0Full Name Eden Hazard
0Date of Birth 7 January 1991
0Place of Birth La Louvière, Belgium
0Position Attacking midfielder
Winger
0Chelsea career 2012 –
0Debut 12 August 2012
0Games (goals) 249 (72)
0Other clubs Lille

Eden Hazard (born 7 January 1991 in La Louvière, Belgium) is a Belgian international who joined Chelsea from Lille in June 2012. One of the most sought after young players in Europe prior to joining the club, he plays primarily as an attacking midfielder or winger, and is known for his pace and technical ability. [1]

Contents

Before Chelsea

Early life

Hazard was born to footballing parents in the Belgian city of La Louvière. He was raised in Braine-le-Comte, a small town in the Wallonia region, and began his career playing for local clubs Royal Stade Brainois and Tubize. It was at the latter that he was spotted by a scout from Lille while playing in a local tournament. Following talks with his father, who believed that the superior facilities at the nearby French club would best suit Eden's development, the youngster joined Lille on a youth contract.

Lille

Having joined Lille in 2005, Hazard signed his first professional contract on 28 May 2007, agreeing a three year deal. He subsequently played for Lille's Under-18 and reserve sides, before appearing as a substitute in a senior friendly match against Bruges on 14 November 2007. Ten days later he made his professional debut in a match against Nancy as a late substitute. Hazard was permanently promoted to the senior squad prior to the 2008-09 season, and made a total of 35 appearances; many of which were as a substitute. Still aged just 18, he was named Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year at the end of the season, having helped his side to fifth place and qualification for the Europa League.

Hazard was the subject of media speculation linking him with a move to various major European clubs prior to 2009-10, but Lille chairman Michel Seydoux stated that the Belgian youngster would definitely remain at the French side for at least another season. Having established himself in the side at the end of the previous season, Hazard proved to be a key player for Lille over the course of the campaign, making 52 appearances in all competitions and contributing 10 goals and 9 assists as he was named Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.

At the beginning of 2010-11 Hazard suffered his first significant loss of form, putting in a series of inconsistent performances over the first couple of months of the season. The slump also cost him his place in the Belgian national side and he was criticised by Belgium manager Georges Leekens, though he was defended by Lille manager Rudi Garcia who pointed out that the player was still just 19. Hazard's form improved over the course of the season, and he eventually helped his club to a league and cup double; the first time the club had achieved the feat since 1946. It was also the first time they had won either honour since the 1950s. Hazard's individual contribution was recognised when he was named Ligue 1 Player of the Year, becoming the youngest player ever to win the award.

Though Lille failed to defend either title during the 2011-12 season, Hazard's individual contribution continued to grow. He scored 22 goals and provided 16 assists over the course of the season, and was named Ligue 1 Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Having already announced that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season, he scored his first professional hat-trick in his final match for Lille; a 4-1 win against Nancy, the team against which he had made his competitive senior debut.

Transfer to Chelsea

Chelsea had been regularly linked with a move for Hazard over previous months, along with other major European clubs who had scouted the youngster extensively, but with the Blues' disappointing league form during the 2011-12 season increasing the likelihood that they would miss out on Champions League qualification as the season drew to a close, the media reported that Hazard had narrowed his options down to the two major Manchester clubs, with the opportunity to play in Europe's premier competition seen as a pre-requisite. [2]

However after Chelsea won the 2012 UEFA Champions League they secured entry into the following season's tournament, and reports emerged from France that Hazard was once again considering a move to Stamford Bridge. [3] On 28 May 2012 Hazard announced on Twitter that he would be signing for the "Champions League winner". [4] Joining for a reported fee of £32 million, the signing was confirmed by Chelsea on 4 June after the Belgian completed his medical. [5]

Chelsea career

Upon signing Hazard stated "It's a dream come true for me. I can't wait to get started and for the season to start so I can meet my new team-mates, the supporters and all the people who are involved. I want to play as many games as possible, score as many goals as possible and win a place in the hearts of the supporters." He commented that his decision to move to Stamford Bridge was due to a variety of factors, including the opportunity to live in London, to be part of a young, emerging Chelsea side, and to play for a club which continued to win silverware after years of success: "Ultimately, for a player it's all about winning things; I want to win as many trophies as possible, which is another reason why I came here as Chelsea have been winning things for a long time now, and I hope to win many more during my time here." [6] Hazard also revealed that former Chelsea player Joe Cole – a team-mate at Lille – had recommended a move to Chelsea: "I spoke to Joe Cole and what he said above all was that Chelsea was the right club for me. As somebody who loves the club himself, he said he could really see me in the shirt, so when I see him next I'll tell him he was right." [7]

2012-13

Having featured in pre-season, including a subdued performance in the Community Shield against Manchester City, Hazard made an immediate impact in his first Premier League appearance at Wigan Athletic. Following a neat turn on the halfway line to beat his man, the Belgian played in Branislav Ivanović for the opening goal within two minutes, before winning a penalty less than five minutes later, helping his new side to a 2-0 win with a man-of-the-match performance.

International

Hazard represented Belgium from Under-15 up, including U16, U17 and U19 levels, before making his senior debut at the age of just 17, coming on as a substitute in a match against Luxembourg. At the time he joined Chelsea, at the age of 21, he had made 28 appearances for the senior Belgian side, scoring twice.

Statistics

See also: List of Eden Hazard goals
Season Prem FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2012-13 34 9 6 1 5 2 13 1 4 0 62 13
2013-14 35 14 3 0 1 0 9 2 1 1 49 17
2014-15 38 14 1 0 6 2 7 3 0 0 52 19
2015-16 31 4 2 2 1 0 8 0 1 0 43 6
2016-17 36 16 4 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 43 17
Total 174 57 16 4 16 4 37 6 6 1 249 72

Correct as of 28 July 2017

Honours

Club

Lille
Chelsea

Individual

Contract

Hazard's contract expires at the end of the 2019-20 season. [8]

Current Squad
1 Caballero • 2 Rüdiger • 3 Alonso • 4 Fàbregas • 5 Zouma • 7 Kanté • 9 Morata • 10 Hazard
11 Pedro • 13 Courtois • 14 Bakayoko • 15 Moses • 16 Kenedy • 17 Musonda • 19 Diego Costa • 22 Willian
23 Batshuayi • 24 Cahill • 28 Azpilicueta • 30 David Luiz • 34 Aina • 37 Eduardo• 38 Boga
Manager: Antonio Conte
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