Connect in the back of the net

Taken from Yahoo Sports

Eden Hazard is a Belgian attacking midfielder who can change the game with a turn of pace or a masterful dribble. He goes on skill runs so many times and often leaves the defender for dead.

Hazard has taken the Ligue 1 as well as Europe to surprise in the past few years. Currently playing for last season’s French champions LOSC Lille, Hazard has won UNFP Ligue 1 Player of the Year twice in the, 2010/11 and the 2011/12 season. 

Hazard also won the Bravo Award in 2011, which is handed out by the Italian magazine Guerin Sportivo to the most outstanding young European footballer.

Hazard had an exceptional season last term, winning the Coupe de France and the Ligue 1 title for the third time in Lille’s history, its first since 1954. This was also the season that made Hazard one of the most sought after players in the world, earning praise from France legend Zinedine Zidane, “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.” 

However, Lille haven’t lived up to their expectations this season and were also unable to defend their Ligue 1 title as they finished 3rd with a 7 point gap between them and 4th place Lyon and a 5 point gap between them and 2nd place Paris SG.

The title was decided last weekend and Montpellier (82 points) beat Paris SG (79 points). This was their first ever Ligue 1 crown, finishing three points clear of Paris Saint-Germain on a chaotic final day of the season that also saw Auxerre, Dijon and Caen relegated. 

Montpellier beat LOSC Lille in their penultimate game last fortnight 1-0 thanks to a stoppage time goal from Karim Ait-Fana. 

Despite LOSC Lille underachieving this season, Hazard has again been extraordinary, playing 37 games, scoring 20 goals and working 16 assists. He finished third top scorer in Ligue 1 behind Nené (21 goals) and Olivier Giroud (21 goals). Hazard has also been an instrumental figure for Lille in the Champions League gaining an assist and putting on a sparkling performance against Inter.

Hazard (R) taking on Germany’s Lahm (L) (Taken from India Times)

Additionally, Hazard has had trouble internationally. An incident last year put Arsene Wenger off signing the Belgian starlet as Eden was subbed off in a European Championships qualifier against Turkey by national coach Georges Leekens, and he immediately walked down the tunnel and met his father Thierry and his agent at one of the burger bars, in the surrounding areas near the main entrance. 

After the game Hazard said: ‘I wasn’t happy, but I have no problem with the coach and I accept I should not have reacted like that.’
However, Hazard has gone on to play 26 games for Belgium (likely to be 27 as Belgium play England on the 2nd of June at Wembley) and has scored 1 goal. He has also grabbed 8 assists so far in his international career.

As many of you know, Hazard confirmed that he would be leaving Lille. The irony of me telling you that Hazard is exceptional is that he announced this at the awards gala after being named Ligue 1’s Player of the Year, where he said: “I am going to Manchester, the decision will be taken soon.” 

This is now doubtful, as Lille managing director Frederic Paquet announced that four teams (both Manchester clubs, Chelsea and maybe Inter) are chasing Hazard’s signature this summer. 

Eden Hazard is being compared with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. I personally believe he will be a better player than Cristiano Ronaldo was in the English league and whatever Manchester club signs him, as an Arsenal fan, I am truly looking forward to seeing how he will do in the Premier League.

Written by Ali Iromlou
Follow me on Twitter @AliTheGunner

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