It’s Eden Hazard’s 30th birthday today, and what better way to celebrate than to have a look back at some of his best moments?
The Belgian has been a superstar over the last few years, from his promising days at Lille, to his dazzling prime at Chelsea, to his world-class performances on the international stage, to his nine-figure move to Real Madrid.
There is no denying Hazard’s talent, and he will undoubtedly go down as one of the Premier League’s best ever wingers, and one of the best players of his generation.
Here are some of Eden Hazard’s best moments to date.
2010/11 League and Cup double
Having won Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year in the previous two seasons, Eden Hazard went one step further in 2010/11, becoming the youngest player to win Player of the Year as he helped Lille to a league and cup double.
Hazard’s personal highlight of the season will have been his stunning goal against Marseille. After picking the ball up from roughly 40 yards out, the winger turned and unleashed an astonishing left-footed strike into the top corner.
Winning Player of the Year…again
Lille may have failed to add more silverware to their cabinet in 2011/12, but Hazard’s game elevated to a new level.
The Belgian scored 20 goals and recorded a further 15 assists, winning Ligue 1 Player of the Year for the second year running. Portuguese forward Pauleta and Swedish legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic are the only other players to have won the prize in consecutive years.
Early years at Chelsea
Hazard’s performances at Lille earned him a massive £32 million move to Chelsea, who had just come off the back of success in the Champions League. The winger had an instant impact and emerged as one of the league’s best players in his first two seasons.
In his first two years in the Premier League, Hazard accumulated 23 goals and 18 assists, making it into PFA Team of the Year on both occasions. His highlights included an astonishing left-footed goal against Stoke City and a hat-trick against Newcastle United.
ANOTHER Player of the Year award
Hazard’s first two years at Stamford Bridge yielded no domestic trophies, but that soon changed in 2014/15, when the Blues got their hands on the Premier League trophy as well as the League Cup.
The winger was influential in Chelsea’s success, winning PFA Player of the Year with 14 goals and nine assists. His header against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge sealed the title for Jose Mourinho’s men.
2015/16 was a difficult season for Hazard, both on an individual level and as a team. He scored just four goals all season, while Chelsea finished tenth. Nonetheless, the Belgian still managed to have an impact on the season.
Against bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Hazard bagged a superb equaliser, playing a one-two with Diego Costa before bending into the far top corner. The draw officially ended Spurs’ chances of winning the league, completing Leicester City’s underdog story.
The winger was back to his best in the 2016/17 campaign, scoring 16 goals as Antonio Conte’s Chelsea won the Premier League title.
The best of these 16 goals was his majestic solo effort against fellow Londoners Arsenal. Hazard picked up the ball on the halfway line, shrugged off the attention of Francis Coquelin, danced past Laurent Koscielny, and planted the ball into the bottom corner.
FA Cup final winner
Having already got his hands on two Premier Leagues and a League Cup, Hazard finally lifted the last remaining domestic trophy in 2018, defeating Manchester United in the final.
The former Lille man scored the only goal of the game. His burst of speed took him into the penalty area, before being brought down by Phil Jones. Hazard picked himself up and calmly rolled the ball into the bottom corner from the penalty spot to win the game for Chelsea.
Starring at the World Cup
Belgium’s ‘golden generation’ hasn’t quite achieved the success expected of them, failing to reach a final. They got closest in 2018, and Eden Hazard was the star of the show.
The Chelsea man notched three goals and two assists, winning the World Cup Silver Ball, coming second only to Croatia’s Luka Modric. His performances in Russia, coupled with his feats at club level, earned him a place in the FIFPro World XI for 2018.
Another magical solo goal in a London derby
Statistically, Eden Hazard gave us his best Premier League season in 2018/19, scoring 16 and assisting 15 as Chelsea finished third.
His assists earned him the playmaker award, but it was a goal that was the highlight of his season. In a London derby against West Ham United, Hazard weaved his way around four attempted tackles, before rolling the ball into the bottom right corner.
Europa League final 2019
The Europa League final against Arsenal in 2019 turned out to be Eden Hazard’s final game in a Chelsea shirt, and he could hardly have given the fans a better parting gift.
Already 1-0 up from Olivier Giroud’s header, the Belgian teed up Pedro to make it two, and then converted from the spot to put the Blues almost out of sight. Alex Iwobi pulled one back for the Gunners with a stunning strike, but Hazard once again found the net to seal the trophy for Maurizio Sarri’s side.