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Creative Eden Hazard will becounted on to find net forBelgium

Like mother, like son. Mrs Hazard
used to play as a striker, in
Belgium’s women’s first division.
Now Eden is making a pretty decent
stab of maintaining that maternal
tradition at first Lille and now
The Belgian international, whose
younger brother Thorgen is also on
Chelsea’s books, heads off to the
World Cup with a giant spring in his
step, or entangled in controversy,
depending on your point of view.
The 23-year-old’s attacking
performances have helped inspire
Chelsea in the Premier League this
season and earned him the PFA
Young Player of the Year award.
Jose Mourinho, not a man prone to
showering his players with idle
platitudes, has suggested Hazard’s
“probably the best young player in
the world” - with potential to rival
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
Mourinho made that comment in
February, after the gifted winger had
helped Chelsea beat Manchester
The month before, there’d been
further praise.
“The kid is in a very good moment of
his career. Three consecutive times
he is man of the match,” purred the
“He is a player who feels and
accepts the responsibility, feels and
accepts that a team player is more
than a talented player, and without
losing his fantastic ability and
fantastic talent.”
Fast forward to the beginning of May,
and the Chelsea boss was taking an
altogether different tack.
Stung by Hazard’s apparent criticism
of Chelsea’s ‘counter-attack’
approach in the wake of their
Champions League semi-final loss to
Atletico Madrid, Mourinho accused
the Belgian of failing to be a team
“When the comments come from a
player like Eden, it’s normal. He’s
not the kind of player ready to
sacrifice himself 100 per cent for the
team and his mates.”
Hazard moved to north London in a
mega £32 million (Dh193.5m) deal
in 2012 after helping Lille win the
French league and Cup double.
The story goes that the first he
learnt about Chelsea’s interest was
when Ivory Coast international
Gervinho passed him his mobile
during training one day with Lille.
According to Hazard’s then boss,
Rudi Garcia, Didier Drogba had
called Gervinho, and asked if Hazard
was with him.
“Yes, he is here,” Gervinho said.
Taking the phone, Garcia relates in
his autobiography, Hazard heard
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich
tell him: “I don’t know how much
you earn at Lille, but I will triple
your salary.’”
When he steps out to lead the
attack against Algeria in Belgium’s
World Cup opener in Belo Horizonte
on June 17 he could be forgiven for
remembering the days when as a
young boy he would crawl through a
hole in a fence to gain access onto
the local pitch beside his family
home in La Louviere.
Nowadays of course he rocks up to
training through the main gate,
behind the wheel of some expensive
Whether that’ll still be for Chelsea
next season is unclear, with French
champions Paris Saint-Germain
reportedly interested in trying to
lure him to the Parc des Princes.
Before returning to club football the
pressure is on for him to light up
Brazil from Belgium manager Marc
Belgium’s top goalscorer turned
national coach has challenged
Hazard to up his scoring rate,
declaring in March: “He has to
improve his stats in the national
“Where is he now? He has scored
five goals, two of them were
penalties, in almost 50 games.
“That’s not enough. I wasn’t as
talented as he was, but I’ve scored
28 goals for Belgium. I love Eden,
but I ask him to be more decisive.”

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Posted By bobricky On 06:20 Sat, 24 May 2014

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