HE STANDS STRONG AS EVERY DEFENDER’S NIGHTMARE : HAZARD

Eden Hazard is a Belgian professional footballer who is currently signed to Chelsea F.C. and plays for the Belgian national team. He plays in the midfield position and is known for his offensive play style. He has earned the respect of his opponents who often describe him as “a superb passer” .

 

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Born to footballer parents, he started playing football at a very young age, sneaking into the adjacent Royal Stade Brainois playing ground one day from their backyard without telling anyone at home. His parents learnt about this only after the coach showed up at their home to praise the young boy’s talent.

He soon started practising regularly to become a professional player. Even though his first competitive game at the age of ten against a girls’ team ended up in a disastrous 5-0 loss, he made his way into Lille’s first team at the age of 16. He eventually earned a place into the Chelsea team and raised himself to the levels of Ballon d’Or winners Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo with exceptional ball control and immense pace.

 

 

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Childhood & Early Life

Eden Hazard was born on January 7, 1991, in La Louvière and was raised in Braine-le-Comte. His father, Thierry, was a defensive midfielder, who played for La Louvière in the Belgian Second Division, while his mother, Carine, was a striker in the Belgian Women’s First Division.

His mother quit playing when she was three months pregnant with Eden. She subsequently gave birth to three more boys, Thorgan, Kylian and Ethan, all of who later became footballers.

 

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Early Career
  • Eden Hazard joined his hometown club Royal Stade Brainois as a football player when he was only four years old. Immediately recognized by the coaches as a “gifted” player, he played there for eight years straight.

  • After he moved to Tubize at the age of 13, he was spotted by a scout from Lille OSC, a first division club in France. After the club officials met his parents, they readily accepted the offer to send a 16-year-old Eden to Lille hoping that the training facilities would be better there.

     

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Career At Lille
  • Eden Hazard joined Lille in 2005 and trained at their local sports school for the next two years. He signed his first professional contract, a three-year deal with Lille, on May 28, 2007.

  • He made his armature debut as a second-half substitute player in a league match against Racing Club de France on September 1, 2007. His professional debut was in a league match against AS Nancy on November 24, 2007 in which he entered the field as a substitute in the 78th minute.

  • He was permanently promoted to the senior team by manager Rudi Garcia during the 2008–09 season and subsequently earned a three-year contract extension at Lille. He helped his team qualify for the newly created UEFA Europa League, and became the first international player to be named UNFP ‘Young Player of the Year’.

 

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  • During the 2009–10 season, a number of top clubs showed interest in him, with football legend and his idol, Zinedine Zidane, personally recommending him for Real Madrid. However, he stayed at Lille, signing a contract agreement to remain there till 2014, and went on to win UNFP ‘Young Player of the Year’ award for a second time, becoming the first player to achieve this feat.

  • He continued to show his exceptional skills on the field during the next season, and was nominated for the ‘UNFP Ligue 1 Player of the Year’ award for a second time. He became the youngest player ever to win it.

  • In the 2011–12 season, he played his 100 consecutive Ligue 1 match, becoming the player with the longest run in the French top flight. He won the ‘UNFP Player of the Year’ award for a second time, becoming only the second player to win the award in consecutive seasons.

     

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Career At Chelsea
  • In June 2012, Chelsea officials reached an agreement with Lille to sign Hazard into their team. He played his first game for the team in a pre-season friendly match against the Seattle Sounders on July 18, 2012.
  • During the 2012–13 season, he was suspended for three games after he accidentally kicked the ball-boy who was intentionally lying on the ball in order to waste time. In the next season, he was among the 23 players nominated for the prestigious ‘FIFA Ballon d’Or’ honor. While he lost the ‘PFA Player of the Year’ award to Luis Suárez that year, he managed to win the ‘PFA Young Player of the Year’ award.
  • He signed a new five-and-a-half-year contract with Chelsea on February 12, 2015. That season, he earned the honor of the best player, winning the ‘PFA Player of the Year’ award. He was also voted the Chelsea’s ‘Player of the Year’ for second time, becoming only the fifth player to achieve this feat in consecutive years.
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  • After remaining scoreless during 30 matches in the beginning of the 2015-16 season, he regained form in the latter half of the season. He kept performing throughout the next season, leading his team to 12 consecutive league victories, and was named in the ‘PFA Team of the Year’ for the fourth time during his five-year stay at Chelsea.

    International Career
  • Eden Hazard, who previously played for the Belgian U-17 and the U-19 teams, debuted for the Belgian senior national football team in a match against Luxembourg on November 18, 2008. He scored his first international goal against Kazakhstan on October 7, 2011.
  • He scored two goals in nine matches during the 2014 World Cup qualification campaign, taking his team to 2014 FIFA World Cup, in which they reached the quarterfinals before being eliminated. He was named the captain of the Belgian team for the UEFA Euro 2016 finals.

 

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Awards & Achievements
  • Eden Hazard was first non-French player to win the UNFP ‘Young Player of the Year’ award in 2008 and the youngest player to win the ‘UNFP Ligue 1 Player of the Year’ award in 2010.
  • He won the PFA ‘Young Player of the Year’ award in 2014, and in the next season, was named the PFA ‘Player of the Year’.
  • Eden Hazard has been recognized by coaches as well as the media for his speed, technical expertise and attacking play style. Considered among one of the best players in the world, he has often been compared to star footballers like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

 

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Personal Life & Legacy
  • In 2012, Eden Hazard married his longtime girlfriend Natacha Van Honacker in a private ceremony. The two attended the same school and first met when he was 14 years old.
  • Eden Hazard is a married man. He married his longtime girlfriend Natacha Van Honacker in 2012. The couple first met when he was fourteen years old. The couple welcomed their first child, a son, on December 19, 2010, and named him Yannis. The couple had their second son in February of 2013 and named him Leo.
  • The third son, Samy, was born in September of 2015. There is no other relationships or extramarital affairs related to him. There are no rumours of their divorce till date. At the current time, he is married lives happily with his family.
  • After Natacha completed her education, they started to live together in Lille. The couple gave birth to their first son, Yannis, on December 19, 2010. They welcomed their second son, Leo, in February 2013, and another son, Samy, in September 2015.

 

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Trivia
  • Eden Hazard appears alongside Lionel Messi on the cover of the video game ‘FIFA 15’ in Belgium, the UK, the Netherlands and France. He was also one of the four players chosen to be the new face of the ‘FIFA 17’ game, but lost to Marco Reus.

 

Eden Hazard’s Rumors and Controversies

 

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  • There is no any controversy found yet but there are some transfer rumours about him. On 4 June, Chelsea officially confirmed on its site that the club had agreed to terms with Lille for the transfer of Eden.
  • The transfer fee was rumoured to be priced at £32 million while Hazard will apparently receive a weekly wage of around £170,000.
  • Additionally, there were rumours flying around about Eden exchanging to the Real Madrid. But he addressed the rumours in an interview with Chelsea’s magazine saying that he would like to win the EPL title next year too and also win the Player of the Year.

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