5 things you probably didn’t know about Eden Hazard

Eden Michael Hazard (French pronunciation: ​[edɛn azaʁ]; born 7 January 1991) is a Belgian professional footballer who plays for English club Chelsea and the Belgium national team. He primarily plays as an attacking midfielder and as a wide midfielder. Hazard’s creativity, speed, dribbling and close ball control are widely acknowledged.He has been described as “a superb passer” and has earned critical acclaim for his playing style, which has led to the media, coaches, and players drawing comparisons to Ballon d’Or winners Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.Hazard is often ranked by coaches, colleagues, and commentators as one of the best players in the world.

Hazard is the son of two former footballers and began his career in Belgium playing for local youth clubs. In 2005, he moved to France where he began his senior career, joining first division club Lille. Hazard spent two years in the club’s academy and, at the age of 16, made his professional debut in November 2007. He went on to become an integral part of Lille under manager Rudi Garcia, racking up over 190 appearances. In his first full season as a starter, he won the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Young Player of the Year award, becoming the first non-French player to win the award. In the 2009–10 season, Hazard captured the award again, becoming the first player to win the award twice. He was also named to the league’s Team of the Year.

In the 2010–11 season, he was a part of the Lille team that won the league and cup double and, as a result of his performances, was named the UNFP Ligue 1 Player of the Year becoming the youngest player to win the award. Hazard was also given the Bravo Award by Italian magazine Guerin Sportivo for his performances during the 2010–11 season. In June 2012, after spending over eight years at Lille, Hazard signed for English club Chelsea, where he went on to win the UEFA Europa League in his first season and the PFA Young Player of the Year in his second. In the 2014–15 season, he helped Chelsea win the League Cup and Premier League, earning him the FWA Footballer of the Year and the PFA Players’ Player of the Year awards. Two years later he won his second English title as Chelsea secured the 2016–17 Premier League.

Hazard is a Belgium international, having represented his nation at under-17 and under-19 level. Hazard made his senior international debut in November 2008, aged 17, in a friendly match against Luxembourg. Nearly three years after his debut, Hazard scored his first international goal against Kazakhstan in October 2011. He has since earned over 90 caps, and was a member of the Belgian squad which reached the quarter-finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Euro 2016. He was named Belgium captain for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and having led his nation to the semi-finals he received the Silver Ball as the second best player of the tournament.

The Eden Hazard transfer saga was a major talking point for football fanatics all around the world. Eden has finally made up his mind and has chosen Chelsea. So if you want to sound cool in front on your friends next season with some Eden-knowledge, here are some facts that you probably don’t know about him:

His footballing family

Yes, Eden is the only footballing Hazard we know. But if you count the number of players from the Hazard household who play professional football, you will end up with half a side. His father Thierry played in the Belgian second division while his mother Carine was a striker in the Belgian women’s first division. He has three brothers – Thorgan Hazard who plays for Lille’s biggest rivals RC Lens, fourteen-year-old Ethan and six-year-old Kylian – both of whom play for AFC Tubize, where Eden and Thorgan had started off as kids.

The versatility

Eden Hazard can literally play anywhere in the forward line. He is a quality winger and an equally good attacking midfielder as well. He can switch flanks easily and can also fit into the ‘hole’ behind the striker. He is extremely quick and has superior ball control: something that makes many people compare him to Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo had all these attributes and he did go on to become one hell of a player!

The first of everything!

Hazard was the youngest goalscorer in Lille’s history – he was only 17 when he scored that goal. Eden was also the first foreign player to win Ligue 1′s Young Player of the Year award. He later became the first player to win it in consecutive years.

The calm and cool demeanor

Although many people question Hazard’s work rate and commitment, his mental poise on the field is often lauded. His coach at Lille comments , “He is a real competitor, not a cheat, nor a moaner, because you don’t hear him complaining when he gets fouled.” Hazard has only 13 bookings in his professional career so far, after making nearly 180 appearances.His demeanor is something that would only do good for whichever team he plays for.

The “burger gate”

Belgium were playing Turkey in July, 2010. Hazard started the game but was subbed an hour into it. He went straight into the locker room and minutes later, was photographed eating a burger outside the stadium! The incident was later referred to as the ‘burger gate’. It’s not something that isn’t common when it comes to Hazard and the national team. He has often been accused by the coach of being overtly lazy.