Eden Hazard is well and truly one of the biggest superstars of world football currently. Playing as a left-winger, the Belgian maestro is well-known for his dribbling, creativity, and acceleration. He was born to a family of sportsmen with his father and mother both being professional footballers. He was the eldest among his three siblings. All his brothers are professional footballers with Thorgan, having played for top clubs across Germany.
First steps in Lille:
Eden began his professional career when he joined Lillie in 2005. He finally signed his first professional contract in 2007, which saw him make his first-team debut when he played a friendly match against Bruges on 16 November of the same year. He then made substitute appearances often for Lillie. The next season though, Hazard made his senior team place permanently when new Lillie manager Rudi Garcia promoted him from the youth team and gave him the number 26 shirt. Hazard then went on to score his first professional goal against Auxerre and hence became the club’s youngest ever goalscorer. Then four days later, Hazard was given his first-team start. After that, there was no looking back for Hazard, who was destined to reach the stars. He went on to score 50 goals in 194 appearances for Lillie, wherein the 2011 season, he scored a massive 22 goals and 22 assists in 49 appearances. As for trophies, he won the Ligue 1 and Coupe de France in the 2010 season. In terms of individual achievements, Hazard won Ligue 1 Young Player Of The Year twice and Ligue 1 Player Of The Year twice.
On 4 June 2012, Chelsea confirmed that they had signed Hazard from Lillie for £32 million. He was one of the hottest commodities in the transfer market, and Chelsea had made a marquee signing swooping Hazard from the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United. Hazard announced that he was joining Chelsea in one of the most entertaining ways on Twitter, saying that he’s joining the Champions League winners.
It didn’t take much time for a player of Hazard to make his impact in England too. He provided an assist and even earned a penalty for Chelsea in their 2-0 win against Wigan in his first-ever start. In January 2013, Hazard got himself into a lot of controversy after he kicked a ball boy who was trying to waste time since Swansea was winning against Chelsea. He was sent off and had to make an apology to the ball boy. He made a solid start for Chelsea, scoring a total of 13 goals in 62 matches. Hazard won his first European trophy in his debut Chelsea season, winning the Europa League.
Reaching The Top (2013-2015):
Hazard showed the world his right calibre during 2013-15 and marked his stake of being the best player in the Premier League. His 2013 season began with dismay after Chelsea lost in the UEFA Super Cup final where Hazard had an assist and a goal. Chelsea appointed Jose Mourinho as their new coach for their season, and this helped Hazard incredibly since he was finally able to make the jump to become a world-class player. Hazard was also nominated for the 2013 Ballon d’Or list which was a fitting testament to his high standards. Hazard kept his excellent form ongoing, and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho even declared him to be the best young footballer in that time. Hazard also scored his first Premier League hat-trick against Newcastle on 8 February 2014.
Individual success came along his great form after he was given the PFA Young Player of the Year and came second after Luis Suarez for the PFA Player of the Year. He was even voted as Chelsea’s Player of the Year in 2014.
The 2014 season started with him being given the famous #10 shirt after Juan Mata’s departure. This season Hazard went on to win the League Cup and the Premier League. In the 2014 season, he went on to score 14 goals in the Premier League which was equal to his last year’s tally and scored a total of 19 goals in the season 3 more than his previous year’s tally. He even won the 2015 Chelsea’s Player of the Year for the second year in a row and becoming only the fifth player to do so. He was also given the 2015 PFA Player Of The Year where he had come second the previous player. Mourinho even put up him as the “top three players in the world” which was a very bold statement to make considering the other players in that list would have been Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
To top of all this of Hazard signed a new five-year contract saying that he was playing for the best clubs in the world. This came as a breath of relief for Chelsea fans since Hazard was being linked to tons of other clubs especially Real Madrid.
The Dark Times(2015-2016):
The 2015 season is something that Eden Hazard would surely like to put behind him. Considering his huge stature, Eden Hazard had failed to score a single goal in more than seven months where his other peers excelled. It was rumoured that he, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas were responsible for falling out with then Chelsea coach Mourinho which saw Chelsea plunge to once 16th in the Premier League standings. Hazard once went without scoring for 356 days which is a severe tarnish to his reputation. He even suffered an annus horribilis during the campaign. Not only did his form plummet but also several Chelsea fans lost faith in him.
Interim manager Gus Hiddink came in and saved Chelsea from a relegation battle. Hazard confirmed that he is “99% sure” of being in Chelsea next season. He, however, scored one of the most impactful goals of the season after his goal made sure that Chelsea drew with Tottenham resulting in the underdogs Leicester City winning the league.
Leaving like a true king(2016-2019):
Hazard made it very clear that his dream club was Real Madrid and Madrid too made several attempts that they wanted to sign Hazard because even though he had a torrid last season, the talent was there. However, he kept his head down and kept working non-stop for Chelsea. New head coach Antonio Conte changed the Chelsea side from a 4-3-3 formation to a 5-2-3 formation. Even though Eden Hazard played as a primary left-winger, he showed his mettle too by being deployed as a false nine. Chelsea went on to win the Premier League quite comfortably that season and went to the FA Cup Final losing 1-0 to bitter rivals Arsenal. He made the PFA Team Of The Year for the fourth time in his last five years in England and finished second in the PFA Player of the Year losing out to team-mate N’Golo Kante.
Hazard’s start in the 2017 season was ridiculed with injuries after suffering an ankle injury during international duty. Hazard had a pretty quiet 2017 season where not only him but his entire team struggled to put the same impact as last year with Chelsea finishing 5th in the Premier League and losing out to Barcelona in the Champions League knockout round. Hazard, however, added an FA Cup to his name which was also his first FA Cup in his career. He played the final where he earned his team a penalty, and he smoothly sent the ball into the corner, scoring the only goal of the match.
The 2019 season for Hazard was an absolute rollercoaster under new coach Maurizio Sarri. Chelsea started the season in red-hot form which however fell off in December where they had to suffer some agonising defeats. However, throughout the season one thing which was forever constant was Hazard’s form. It was his best-ever season in a Chelsea shirt statistically where he scored 21 goals in the season and also provided the highest number of assists which made him the Premier League’s Playmaker of the Season.
Hazard left Stamford Bridge as an absolute don after scoring 110 goals in 352 games. He also put on one of his best performances ever in his final game after he scored twice and assisted once in the Europa League final in Chelsea’s 4-1 win over Arsenal.
Another New Chapter:
Hazard had made it very clear that he wanted to leave Chelsea after Real Madrid’s continued interest and his dream to play for the Los Blancos. He did leave Chelsea though but did so in an utterly professional and dignified manner. His move to his dream club was finalised with a transfer fee of around €100 million, which may arise to €146.1 million due to bonuses. Hazard had officially left Chelsea and became Madrid’s biggest ever signing after Gareth Bale who was signed for €101 million.
Hazard has been given the #7 shirt in Real Madrid which has been immortalised by players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Raul. Getting the #7 shirt shows how much of a marquee signing Hazard was for Madrid. However, to be Real Madrid’s best player, you also need to have the mentality of a true superstar. Hazard hasn’t got off to a great start in his Madrid career scoring only once in 11 games. However, it is far too early to judge a player in a new club from just 11 games. Hazard might have made a slow start, but he certainly has enough time to prove all of his doubters wrong.
Struggles at Madrid:
Hazard is undoubtedly yet to find his feet at Madrid. According to sofascore.com, they have given Eden Hazard an average rating of 7.04 in La Liga and 7.18 in Champions League as of now which is pretty underwhelming considering that he was supposed to be Madrid’s best player and an 18-year-old teenager Rodrygo has managed to create more of an impact than Hazard has. Real Madrid fans are brutal when it comes to their expectations from players. They have regularly harassed Gareth Bale even though the former has played a pivotal role for Real to win three successive Champions Leagues. Hazard must buckle up, and he indeed showed signs of promise and brilliance after his performances began to take a turn for the better since Real played against Granada. Real Madrid fans shouldn’t be impatient with Hazard. He is a real gem of both a player and a person, and fans should try their best to encourage him so that he reaches his peak best as soon as possible.