Eden Hazard is the second most expensive signing that Chelsea Football Club have gone through. He started his career at the age of 4, playing for his hometown club Royal Stade Brainois. He moved to Tubize and was spotted by a Lille scout who subsequently offered Eden a youth contract. Hazard’s parents accepted the offer with hopes that the training facilities in France would be better.
Hazard joined Lille in 2005 and at the start of the 2007-2008 season, he was promoted to the club’s reserve team at the age of 16. For the 2008–09 season, Hazard was given the number 26 shirt after playing with the number 33 shirt in his debut season. He was also promoted to the senior team permanently by new manager Rudi Garcia. After the season, he was named the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Young Player of the Year, becoming the first international player to achieve the honor.
In the 2009-2010 season, he was constantly linked to big European teams, including Arsenal, United, Inter Milan, Barcelona and Madrid. Zidane himself was a fan of the young Belgian. On 9 May, Hazard was awarded the UNFP Young Player of the Year trophy for the second consecutive season. He became the first player since its inception in 1994 to win the award twice. Hazard lost out on the Player of the Year award, which was awarded to Lyon striker Lisandro López. On the day after Lille won the league in 2010-2011, Hazard was named the UNFP Ligue 1 Player of the Year becoming the youngest player ever to win the award. He was also rewarded with a place in the organization’s Team of the Year for the second consecutive season.
On 28 April 2012, for the third consecutive season, Hazard was nominated for the UNFP Player of the Year award Two weeks later, he was awarded the prestigious honour ahead of the likes of Olivier Giroud and Younès Belhanda. After capturing the award, Hazard became the second player in the awards’ history after former Paris Saint-Germain striker Pauleta to achieve the honour in consecutive seasons. He was also included in the Team of the Year for the third straight season.
In May 2012, he stated – “I’m signing for the champion’s league winner” via his official twitter account. The clubs later confirmed it on its website on the 4th of June. he midfielder agreed personal terms with the club and passed a medical examination. The transfer fee was rumoured to be priced at £32 million, while Hazard will reportedly receive a weekly wage of around £170,000.
Strengths – Turn of pace and immense ammount of creativity, makes him a player that everyone craves for.
Weakness – His attitude has sometimes come into question for Lille but not so far for Chelsea.
Career high – Becoming the first non-French player to win the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year Award in 2008-09, before achieving something that the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry never managed by winning it again in 2009-10.
Career low – Losing 4-1 to Athletico Madrid after being confident that he could grab the Super Cup with Chelsea.
Style – Can get away from any player with his dribbling skills and can play any kind of attacking role in the midfield.
Quotes: “Eden is technically gifted and very fast. I would take him to Real Madrid with my eyes closed. He can become a great footballer, he is a star of the future.” France legend Zinedine Zidane gives Hazard a ringing endorsement.
Trivia: Eden Hazard’s mother continued playing football in the Belgian women’s 1st division until she was 3 months pregnant with him before stopping.