Eden HazardBelgian Footballer
Eden Hazard is a Belgian footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder.
• Date of birth: 7 January 1991
• Age: 31 years old
• Place of birth: La Louviere, Belgium
• Nationality: Belgian
• Position: Attacking midfielder
• Height: 175cm / 5ft 9 ins
• Weight: 74kg / 163 lbs
• Wages: £415,000 a week (reported)
• Transfer value: €100m (2019)
The Belgium international established himself as one of the best players in Europe following his impressive spell at Chelsea FC.
Hazard – who was named as the PFA player of the year award in 2015 – won two Premier League titles, the Europa League, the FA Cup and the League Cup during his Stamford Bridge career.
The attacking midfielder signed for Spanish club Real Madrid in June 2019 for a reported fee of €100m. He made his senior debut for Belgium in November 2008.
So, how much do you know about Hazard’s journey to becoming one of the top attacking midfielders in world football? This is his story.
Early Life, Parents And Upbringing
Hazard’s parents Carine and Thierry were both footballers, so it was only natural that Eden would want to follow in their footsteps.
Indeed, his mother Carine was a striker who continued playing women’s football up until when she was three months pregnant with her oldest son.
Eden is the eldest of three brothers – and Thorgan, Kylian and Ethan are all also footballers.
“I was in her stomach when she was playing,” Hazard said of his mother in 2012. “She was three months pregnant. I take after my mum as a player.
“My dad played at the back, chilled out, calm on the ball. My mum was a striker. I never watched mum play but I can remember going to see my dad play. Actually, I like to think that I am a mix of the best of them.”
The attacker started his hometown club Royal Stade Brainois at the age of four. He earned a reputation as a gifted talent during his time at the Belgian team.
He spent the majority of his youth career at Tubize. Indeed, Eden was there for eight years before he was recruited for French side Lille’s academy.
Naturally, it was a big decision for his parents to allow Eden – and his brother Thorgan – to move to another country at such a young age.
Eden moved to Lille in 2005. Twenty-four months later, Hazard signed his first professional contract with the Ligue 1 side to secure his future for another three seasons.
He started to move up the ranks in 2007-08 as a promising talent at the age of 16. Hazard was promoted to Lille’s reserve team, where he featured in French football’s fourth tier.
Hazard was a second-half substitute in 3-1 loss to Racing Club on 1 September 2007. A week later, Eden made his first full start for Lille’s amateur side in a 1-0 win against Lesquin.
Claude Peul, who is currently in charge of Leicester City, called Hazard up to the first-team squad in 2008 due to an injury crisis at the Ligue 1 outfit.
Eden was a substitute in a friendly against Bruges in November 2007 and impressed enough to be named in Lille’s 18-man squad for their next game against Nancy.
Hazard made his professional debut as a late substitute against Nancy on 16 November 2007. He was taken out of the firing line for a couple of months before he returned to the first-team to feature against Metz, Sochaux, and Paris Saint-Germain.
New Lille manager Rudi Garcia gave Hazard a more important role in the 2008-09 season. He scored his first Lille goal when he netted an equaliser in a 3-2 win against Auxurre in the 88th minute.
His full debut came on 15 November when Garcia started Hazard against Saint-Etienne. He repaid the manager’s faith with a goal in a 3-0 win.
Heading into the second half of the season, Hazard made important contributions in victories over Sochaux and Monaco with a goal and an assist. Unsurprisingly, Lille handed Hazard a new three-year deal to secure his future.
Hazard scored four times in 30 games in Ligue 1 to help Lille secure a spot in the Europa League.
He started to attract interest from Premier League clubs Arsenal and Manchester United, while Spanish duo FC Barcelona and Real Madrid were also rumoured to be monitoring the attacker.
Hazard was in prolific form in the Europa League in the 2009-10 season, scoring goals against FK Sevojno, Genk, Genoa and Slavia Prague.
He had to wait until 20 December to score his first Ligue 1 goal of the season. It came in a 3-0 victory over Le Mans before he netted in a 1-0 win against Lens a month later.
The forward made himself known to English football when he hit the winner in a 1-0 victory over Liverpool FC at Anfield in the Europa League on 11 March 2010.
Hazard finished the 2009-10 season with 10 goals and made eight assists in 42 appearances in all competitions.
Eden was a key player in helping Lille to win the Ligue 1 title under Garcia in 2010-11. However, he started the campaign on the bench due after struggling to find consistency.
He started to rediscover his best performances with a goal in a 3-1 win against leaders Brest before Eden netted twice in 2-1 win over AS Monaco.
Hazard’s upturn in form was encapsulated when Lille added another season to his contract following his impressive performances.
The Belgian star scored the winner from a free-kick when Lille beat Nancy 1-0 in the 2011 Coupe de France final.
Hazard finished with seven goals and eight assists in 37 games in Ligue 1 to help Lille win their first French top-flight crown since 1954.
The French champions qualified for the Champions League as Hazard and Garcia’s squad looked to build on their double success.
Hazard made his Champions League debut in a 2-2 draw with Russian club CSKA Moscow in 2011. He made his first assist in the competition in a 1-1 draw with Turkish club Trabzonspor.
He scored 20 goals and made assists in 44 appearances in all competitions, although Lille failed to retain their title.
Hazard won Ligue 1’s player of the year award for his impressive performances throughout his final season at Lille.
After weeks of speculation, Chelsea FC signed Hazard for an undisclosed fee on 4 June 2012. The Blues were reported to have paid £32m to sign the Belgium international ahead of interest from Manchester City and Manchester United.
Hazard was initially given Jose Bosingwa’s number 17 shirt at Stamford Bridge.
He made his competitive debut for Chelsea FC in a 3-2 loss to Manchester City at Villa Park in the Community Shield on 12 August 2012. His first Premier League appearance came in a win against Wigan Athletic a week later.
Hazard’s first Chelsea FC goal came from the penalty spot in a 2-0 win against Newcastle United. His made his Champions League debut for Chelsea FC in a clash against Serie A giants Juventus.
He scored against Norwich City, Leeds United and Aston Villa in the opening months of the season. Hazard also scored a 25-yard strike in a 4-0 win against Stoke City as Chelsea FC became the first team to win at The Britannia that season.
Hazard was controversially sent off for kicking a ball out from underneath a ball-boy who was seemingly attempting to waste time during a League Cup game at Swansea in 2013.
He scored a goal and made an assist to help Chelsea FC come from 2-0 down to force a replay in a 2-2 stalemate with Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Hazard finished his first season at Stamford Bridge with 13 goals in all competitions as Chelsea FC won the Europa League.
Jose Mourinho returned to Chelsea FC in June 2013. The new Blues manager used Hazard sparingly in the opening months of the season.
He scored the winner in a 3-1 win against Norwich City to open his account for the season in October. He netted two more goals in an emphatic victory over Cardiff City.
Eden then scored some important goals against Liverpool FC and Manchester City as he began to earn the trust of Mourinho.
His first Premier League hat-trick came in a 3-0 win against Newcastle United on 8 February 2014.
Hazard scored 14 goals and made seven assists in 35 games in the Premier League. He was named as the PFA young player of the year and finished behind Luis Suarez for the player of the year award.
The attacking midfielder inherited the number 10 shirt from Juan Mata at the start of the 2014-15 season following the Spaniard’s move to Manchester United in January 2014.
He won a penalty before scoring from the spot to help Chelsea FC secure a 2-0 victory over Arsenal in a crunch Premier League game in October.
Hazard’s form was rewarded when he was handed a new five-year contract in February 2015. Spurred on by his new deal, Hazard outwitted David De Gea with a back-heel to help Chelsea FC beat Manchester United’s 1-0.
The Belgian forward netted 14 goals and made nine assists in 38 appearances in Chelsea’s title-winning campaign in 2014-15. His performances secured him the PFA player of the year award.
Hazard was also part of the Chelsea FC team that won the League Cup that season thanks to 2-0 win over London rivals Tottenham.
The former Lille forward endured a forgettable third season at Stamford Bridge. Hazard was criticised for his slow start to the campaign and Mourinho was sacked in December 2015.
He didn’t score his first Premier League goal until a 4-1 victory over Bournemouth in April 2016. Hazard was accused of being distracted by reports linking the forward with a move to La Liga giants Real Madrid and Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain.
He finished a disappointing 2015-16 season with four goals and three assists.
Antonio Conte was appointed as Guus Hiddink’s successor at Chelsea FC ahead of the 2016-17 campaign. The Italian soon helped to rekindle Hazard’s best form as the Belgian forged a devastating partnership with Diego Costa.
Eden produced man-of-the-match performances against West Ham and Burnley in their opening two games to set the tone for the season ahead. He scored in a 3-0 win against defending champions Leicester before Mourinho’s Manchester United side lost 4-0 at Stamford Bridge, with Hazard on the score-sheet.
Hazard was in devastating form in a 5-0 victory over Everton in south west London in November 2016. His 50th Premier League goal came in a 3-0 victory over Bournemouth.
Eden scored home and away against Chelsea FC’s title rivals Manchester City in successive 3-1 victories. The Belgian also netted against in a 3-1 win against Arsenal.
Hazard helped Chelsea to win their second Premier League title in three seasons thanks to a season-best 16 goals. He also made five assists in the top flight that season.
The Chelsea FC number 10 couldn’t prevent the title winners from losing 2-1 to Arsenal in the FA Cup final at Wembley, however.
Eden broke his right ankle while on international duty in May 2017. He didn’t make his return until a substitute appearance in a 2-1 win at Leicester City on 9 September 2017.
His first Premier League goal of the season came in a 1-0 win at Bournemouth in October 2017. Hazard netted twice in a 3-3 draw with AS Roma in the Champions League.
Hazard didn’t score in the FA Cup until his winner in Chelsea FC’s 1-0 victory over bitter rivals Manchester United in the final.
Eden finished the season with 12 goals and 17 assists in all competitions.
In total, Hazard won two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one Europa League and one League Cup with Chelsea FC.
After years of speculation, Hazard eventually ended up signing for Real Madrid from Chelsea FC on 7 June 2019. He signed a contract until 30 June 2024 for a reported fee of €100m.
Hazard made his debut for Real Madrid in as a substitute in a 3–2 victory over Levante in La Liga at the Bernabeu on 14 September 2019.
On 5 October 2019, he scored his first competitive goal for the Spanish side on the stroke of half-time against Granada in his first home league start.
Hazard struggled with a string of injury problems following his move to Real Madrid and largely failed to find consistent performances for the Spanish side. He only managed five goals in all competitions in his first two seasons at the club.
Hazard was courted by officials from France Football Federation but opted to represent Belgium at national level.
“Because of my presence in France for seven years, I feel 99 per cent Belgian and one per cent French, but the idea of French citizenship has never crossed my mind,” Hazard said in November 2011.
He became the eighth-youngest player in Belgium’s history when he featured at the age of 17 years and 316 days against Luxembourg in November 2008.
Hazard completed 90 minutes for Belgium for the first time in a 3-0 win against Hungary, notching two assists in November 2009.
Belgium missed out on a place at Euro 2012 following a 3-1 loss to Germany.
Hazard had to wait until 2014 World Cup to get his first taste of a major tournament. He scored two goals in nine appearances in their qualification campaign to book a place in Brazil.
At the 2014 World Cup, he provided an assist in Belgium’s 2-1 win against Algeria in their group-stage opener. He teed up Divock Origi for an 88th-minute winner in a 1-0 victory over Russia in their second fixture. The Red Devils exited the competition in the quarter-finals, losing to eventual finalists Argentina.
Hazard and Belgium booked their place at Euro 2016 with ease. He made one goal and four assists in five games in France to help Belgium reach the quarter-finals. However, the Belgium skipper couldn’t prevent his team from a surprise loss to Wales.
He was named as the Belgium captain at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He enjoyed some great form at the tournament – scoring three goals and making two assists – and helped Belgium to reach the semi-finals, where they lost to eventual champions France.
Hazard made one assist in four games for Belgium as they reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2020.
Life Away From The Pitch
Hazard is married to wife Natacha Van Honacker. The couple have four sons together.
The couple reportedly first met at school when Hazard was just 14 years old. They are believed to have moved in together after Natacha finished her studies at 18.
Eden Hazard – Did You Know?
• Hazard was the youngest goal-scorer in Lille’s history – he was only 17 years old when he netted his first goal for the French club.
• The footballer is a big NBA fan and follows the New York Knicks.
• His childhood hero was France and Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane.