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Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard, football player
  • Name E. Hazard
  • Full name Eden Hazard
  • Date of birth 7 January 1991 (age 33)
  • Birth country Belgium
  • Birth place La Louvière
  • Nationality Belgium
  • Height 175 cm
  • Weight 74 kg
  • Position Attacker
  • Current team Retired


Eden Michael Walter Hazard (born 7 January 1991) is a former Belgian professional footballer who played as a winger or attacking midfielder. A master of dribbling and creativity, he’s considered one of the greats of his generation.

He has earned critical acclaim for his playing style, with the media, coaches, and players drawing comparisons to Ballon d’Or winners Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Eden Hazard and his parents

Eden Hazard and his parents.

Joining Lille OSC in Ligue 1 at 16 (2007), Eden Hazard quickly became a key player under Rudi Garcia. He earned the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award in his first full season (first non-French winner) and repeated the feat the following year (first ever two-time winner). Hazard’s peak came in 2010-11, leading Lille to a league and cup double and earning him the Ligue 1 Player of the Year title (youngest ever).

In June 2012, Hazard signed for English club Chelsea, where he went on to win the UEFA Europa League in his first season and the PFA Young Player of the Year in his second.

In the 2014–15 season, he helped Chelsea win the League Cup and Premier League, earning him the FWA Footballer of the Year and the PFA Players’ Player of the Year awards. Two years later, he won his second English title as Chelsea secured the 2016–17 Premier League.

Hazard’s success continued at Chelsea. He lifted the FA Cup in 2018 and earned a spot in the FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11. He capped his Chelsea career with another Europa League win in 2019, scoring a brace in the final. By then, Hazard was established as a world-class player. A high-profile transfer to Real Madrid followed in summer 2019, with a fee reaching €150 million, one of the highest ever. However, injuries, inconsistent form, and fitness struggles limited his playing time. He left Real Madrid in June 2023 and retired four months later.

On an international level, Hazard represented his country at under-17 and under-19 levels. He made his senior international debut in November 2008, aged 17, in a friendly match against Luxembourg.

Nearly three years after his debut, Hazard scored his first international goal against Kazakhstan in October 2011. He has since earned over 126 caps and was a member of the Belgian squad, which reached the quarter-finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2016, and Euro 2020.

At the 2018 FIFA World Cup, he captained Belgium to third place, which was their best finish in history, receiving the Silver Ball as the second-best player of the tournament. He captained the team during their historic reign at the top of the FIFA rankings, the longest for any European nation (2015-2022).


Hazard was born in La Louvière and grew up in Braine-le-Comte. His mother, Carine, and father, Thierry, were both footballers. His father spent most of his career at a semi-professional level with La Louvière in the Belgian Second Division, playing mainly as a defensive midfielder.

His mother played as a striker in the Belgian Women’s First Division and stopped playing when she was three months pregnant with Eden. After playing football, both parents became sports teachers. Thierry retired from his position in 2009 in order to devote more time to his children.

Hazard is the eldest of four children. He has three brothers, all of whom play football, including Thorgan, who joined him at Chelsea in 2012 but then moved to Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2015.

Eden and his brothers Thorgan and Kylian Hazard.

Eden and his brothers Thorgan and Kylian Hazard.

Thorgan had previously progressed through the youth ranks of Lille’s biggest rivals, Lens. Hazard’s other younger brothers are Kylian and Ethan.

Hazard and his three brothers were raised in a comfortable environment with their parents, ensuring they had whatever they needed to excel. The family lived “no more than three metres” from a football training ground, and the brothers often ventured onto a training pitch through a small hole in order to hone and develop their skills. Growing up, his idol was French playmaker Zinedine Zidane, with Hazard “watching him on television and online for hours.”

Hazard has been married to Natacha Van Honacker since 2012. They dated since their teenage hood days and got married in a private ceremony. The couple has three sons: Yannis, born on December 19, 2010; Leo, born in February 2013; and Samy, born in September 2015.


Two of Hazard’s most common exemplary traits are his pace and technical ability, which have been described as “astonishing” and “mesmerizing”. His speed and dribbling skills, combined with his creativity, as well as his flair, balance, agility, and low centre of gravity, courtesy of his diminutive stature (1.73 m/5 feet 8 inches), allowed him to retain possession, take on defenders, and beat opponents in one on one situations.

At Chelsea, Hazard matured into a world-class player and was primarily utilized as a left midfielder, a position which enables him to cut into the centre and strike on goal with his stronger right foot.

His development into one of the world’s best players was highlighted in the 2014–15 Season. During this season, he won multiple awards and received praise from pundits and managers alike.

Manager Jose Mourinho praised Hazard, saying:

“He is already a top player, and his evolution has been fantastic. He is still very young, and he can become the best player in the world.”

Hazard’s frequent goal celebrations saw him sliding on his knees; since 2018, he has stayed on his feet. Although Hazard’s favoured role is as a left winger, he is a versatile attacker. He has also been deployed as a second striker, as a lone striker, or even as a false-9 on occasion throughout his career.

Beyond his speed, creativity, technical skills, and offensive qualities, he is also an accurate penalty and free-kick taker.

Hazard’s pace, coupled with his finishing and ability to retain possession, led to his former coach Claude Puel dubbing him “little Messi”, in reference to the Barcelona player.

Hazard’s “flair and tricky” style of play has been described as being similar to Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo, a comparison later repeated by former French international Christophe Dugarry.

In Belgium, Hazard’s talent and similar ascension up the country’s football hierarchy have led to comparisons to former Belgian international Enzo Scifo. Both players share the exact birthplace, and Scifo himself spent time with Hazard while he was in Tubize, admitting:

“Eden, you know, I’ve coached in Tubize. During the week, I took care of the young people at least once, and he, in those days, I immediately saw he had a secure future”.

Club career

Early Career

Hazard began his football career playing for his hometown club, Royal Stade Brainois, at the age of four. He spent eight years at the club before moving to Tubize. While at Tubize, he was spotted by a Lille scout while playing in a local tournament with the club. The scout’s subsequent report on the player prompted club officials to meet with Hazard’s father and offer the young player an aspirant (youth) contract.

Hazard’s parents accepted the offer from Lille with hopes that the training facilities in France would be better. Hazard’s father later admitted that the decision to let Eden and, later Thorgan, join clubs in the North of France was the best solution, stating:

“They remained so close to home and, at the same time, they integrated at structures where they could grow, because in Belgium, unfortunately, it’s a little empty for the training of youth”.


Hazard joined Lille in 2005 and spent two years developing in the club’s local sports school due to its youth academy in Luchin not being in operation at that time. On 28 May 2007, he signed his first professional contract, agreeing to a three-year deal with Lille.

Eden Hazard Playing for Lille club.

Eden Hazard playing for Lille club.

At the start of the 2007–08 season, at the age of 16, Hazard was promoted to the club’s reserve team in the Championnat de France amateur, the fourth level of French football, though he still played with Lille’s under-18 team in its league and the Coupe Gambardella.

He made his amateur debut on 1 September 2007 in a league match against Racing Club de France, appearing as a second-half substitute in a 3–1 defeat. He made his first start a week later in the team’s 1–0 defeat to Lesquin.

After spending the majority of October and the early part of November playing with the club’s under-18 team, on 14 November, due to several players being on international duty, Hazard was called up to the senior team by manager Claude Puel to participate in a friendly match against Belgian club Bruges on 16 November.

He appeared as a substitute in the match and, as a result of his performance, was included in the 18-man squad to face Nancy in a league match on 24 November. Hazard subsequently made his professional debut in the match, coming on as a substitute in the 78th minute.

Hazard returned to the club’s reserve team and spent December playing with the squad. Following the winter break, he returned to the first team in January and made substitute appearances in three league matches against Metz, Sochaux, and Paris Saint-Germain.

Following the match against Paris Saint-Germain, he was demoted back to the amateur level, where he played concurrently with the reserve team in the fourth division and the under-18 team in the Coupe Gambardella. On 17 May 2008, he scored his first amateur goal in a 3–2 victory over Vitré.

Hazard finished his amateur career with 11 appearances and one goal, helping the reserve team finish in fifth place, which was first among professional clubs’ reserve teams playing in the group.

2008–09: Debut Season

For the 2008–09 season, Hazard was given the number 26 shirt after playing with the number 33 shirt in his debut season. He was also promoted to the senior team permanently by new manager Rudi Garcia. Early on, he made substitute appearances regularly, making his season debut as a substitute on 14 September 2008 against Sochaux in a 1–1 draw. One of his substitute appearances proved beneficial against Auxerre on 20 September.

With Lille trailing 2–1 in the waning minutes of the match, Hazard, after Lille took a corner kick, quickly scooped up a short clearance from Auxerre and took a right-footed shot just outside the box. It beat the keeper and drew the score 2–2 in the 88th minute. With Lille’s confidence high, the club won the match 3–2 in injury time following a goal from Tulio de Melo. Hazard’s first career goal resulted in him becoming the youngest goalscorer in the club’s history.

Four days after scoring his first professional goal, Hazard made his first professional start in a 4–2 defeat on penalties to Montpellier in the Coupe de la Ligue. After featuring as a substitute in the team’s next five league matches, on 15 November, Hazard made his first professional league start against Saint-Étienne.

He capped the appearance by scoring the opening goal in the club’s 3–0 victory. His assured performances with the club resulted in Lille offering him a three-year contract extension, which he agreed to on 18 November 2008, tying him to the club until 2012.

After featuring as a substitute in December, Hazard returned to the starting lineup in January. On 23 January, he scored the second goal in a 3–0 win over amateur club Dunkerque in the Round of 32 of the Coupe de France.

Two weeks later, he scored the match-winning goal in a league match against Sochaux and, on 22 February, assisted on the winner against Monaco. In the Round of 16 of the Coupe de France, Hazard netted a goal in a 3–2 win over the competition’s defending champions Lyon.

On 26 April, he scored the opening goal against Marseille, though Lille lost the match 2–1. In the final ten league matches of the campaign, Hazard started eight and contributed to the team finishing in fifth place, which resulted in Lille qualifying for the newly created UEFA Europa League. After the season, he was named the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Young Player of the Year, becoming the first international player to achieve the honour.

2009–10: Goals, Assists and Awards

“Eden is technically gifted and very fast. He will be a major star in the future. I would take him to Real Madrid with my eyes closed.”

—Zinedine Zidane on the 19-year-old Eden Hazard, August 2010.

Following the 2008–09 season, constant media speculation occurred in numerous countries regarding Hazard’s availability on the transfer market. Despite Lille chairman Michel Seydoux declaring the player off limits and Hazard stating that he wanted to remain at the club for at least another season, several clubs declared interest in the player.

Interest from Top European Clubs

These included English clubs Arsenal and Manchester United, Italian club Internazionale, and Spanish clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid. French football legend Zinedine Zidane personally recommended the player to the latter club.

Hazard began the 2009–10 season on a positive note, scoring in Lille’s first competitive match of the season. The goal, contributing to the team’s 2–0 victory, came against Serbian club FK Sevojno in the first leg of the club’s third qualifying round match in the UEFA Europa League.

On 27 August, he scored his second career European goal in the club’s second-leg tie in the playoff round against Belgian club Genk. Lille’s final goal was the club’s 4–2 victory. The 6–3 aggregate scoreline assured the club progression to the Europa League group stage.

On 22 October, Hazard scored a goal in Lille’s significant 3–0 victory over Italian club Genoa in the 84th minute after entering as a substitute 10 minutes prior. Upon receiving the ball on the left wing, Hazard proceeded to dash through the midfield, dribbling past six Genoa defenders before finishing at the 18-yard box.

A month later, Hazard was instrumental in Lille’s 5–1 thrashing of Czech club Slavia Prague as he was partly responsible for the opening goal — slicing through the defence and delivering a cross near post, which went off Slavia player Marek Suchý, resulting in an own goal.

On 20 December, Hazard scored his first league goal of the season in the club’s 3–0 win over Le Mans. He also provided assists on the other two goals. On 30 January, Hazard scored the only goal in Lille’s win over Derby du Nord rivals Lens. The victory helped the club achieve stability in the league by keeping them in the UEFA Champions League places. It also ended a disaster of a week, which saw Lille suffer elimination from both of France’s cup competitions.

Contract Extension and Awards

Five days later, Hazard and Lille agreed on a contract extension until 2014. On 11 March, Hazard scored the only goal in Lille’s victory over English club Liverpool in the first leg of the club’s UEFA Europa League tie, converting a free kick in the 83rd minute.

Hazard provided two assists in the club’s 4–1 win three weeks later over fellow title contenders Montpellier. The two passes brought his league tally to seven, tied for second in the league. Hazard was given the UNFP Player of the Month award for his impressive displays in March.

On 29 April, Hazard was nominated for the UNFP Ligue 1 Player of the Year award. He was also nominated, for the second consecutive season, for the Young Player of the Year award. On 9 May, Hazard was awarded the UNFP Young Player of the Year trophy for the second consecutive season. He became the first player since its inception in 1994 to win the award twice.

2010–11: Early Struggles and Inconsistency

Hazard began the 2010–11 campaign as a starter, featuring in Lille’s first six league matches of the season and matches in the UEFA Europa League. On 29 August 2010, he scored his first goal of the season in a 1–1 draw with Nice. In late September, Hazard began to struggle with inconsistency and was benched by Garcia in an effort to “allow him (Hazard) to breathe and learn that his performances were insufficient”.

Hazard subsequently appeared as a substitute in the team’s 2–1 defeat to Portuguese club Sporting in the Europa League and as a substitute in the next three league matches against Toulouse, Montpellier, and Lyon. Hazard later admitted that his first bout of inconsistency affected him, stating, “The first two months were a bit tough. I wouldn’t say that I began doubting my abilities, but I definitely went through a really patchy spell”.

Belgium national team manager Georges Leekens criticized Eden Hazard, citing his recent time on the bench at Lille. Leekens emphasized that Hazard needed to work harder both physically and mentally to regain his previous form. The team’s assistant coach, Marc Wilmots, also accused Hazard of displaying a lazy mentality during national team training. In response, Rudi Garcia, Lille’s manager, defended Hazard, calling Leekens’ comments “excessive.” Hazard, who was only 19 years old at the time, later reflected on the situation, acknowledging that he learned from it and improved mentally. He attributed some of his growth to being part of the national team.

Following the international break, Hazard recaptured his scoring form, netting the final goal in Lille’s 4–1 victory over Caen in the Coupe de la Ligue on 27 October. Ten days later, he scored his second league goal of the season in a 3–1 win against the league table leaders Brest.

On 21 November, Hazard assisted on both of Lille’s goals in a 2–1 win over Monaco. The victory continued the club’s domestic unbeaten streak, which led to Lille topping the league table following an emphatic 6–3 victory against Lorient on 5 December. Hazard scored in the team’s first match against amateur club Forbach in the Coupe de France at the turn of the calendar year. Lille won the match 3–1. In the team’s following match, he assisted on goals scored by Moussa Sow and Gervinho in a 2–0 league victory over Nice.

Contract Extension and Record-Breaking Goal

On 19 January, Hazard scored the second goal in a 3–0 victory over Nancy. On 4 March, Lille officials confirmed that Hazard had added an extra year to his contract. The new deal tied him to the club until 2015 and also made him the highest-paid player in Ligue 1, beginning with the 2011–12 season.

In his first match after the news, Hazard scored the opening goal in Lille’s 2–1 away win over title rivals Marseille. The goal was scored on a left-footed shot from almost 35 metres (38 yd) out and was clocked at 95 km/h (59 mph).

On 2 April, Hazard capped his 100th league appearance with Lille by scoring the second goal in a 3–1 win over Caen. The goal tied his career-high for goals in a season and also moved Lille eight points clear at the top of the league table. For his performances in the month of March, Hazard was named the UNFP Player of the Month for the second time in his career.

On 19 April, after appearing as a first-half substitute, he scored the opening goal in Lille’s 2–0 Coupe de France semi-final victory over Nice. The victory inserted the club into the 2011 Coupe de France Final, the club’s first appearance in the competition’s final since 1955.

Coupe de France and Ligue 1 Title

On 7 May, Hazard converted a game-winning free-kick goal in the team’s 1–0 win over Nancy. Three days later, he was nominated for the UNFP Ligue 1 Player of the Year award for the second consecutive season.

In the Coupe de France final, Hazard played 89 minutes as Lille defeated Paris Saint-Germain 1–0 at the Stade de France. A week later, Lille clinched the Ligue 1 title by drawing 2–2 away to Paris Saint-Germain, achieving the club’s first league championship since the 1953–54 season and the club’s first double since the 1945–46 season.

The domestic cup and league title were the first two honours in Hazard’s career. On the day after Lille won the league, Hazard was named the UNFP Ligue 1 Player of the Year, becoming the youngest player ever to win the award. He was also rewarded with a place in the organization’s Team of the Year for the second consecutive season.

2011–12: Last Season in France

Ahead of the 2011–12 season, Hazard switched to the number 10 shirt. In Lille’s first competitive match of the season against Marseille in the 2011 Trophée des Champions, Hazard scored the team’s second goal, which put Lille up 2–0. Marseille would later come back to win the match 5–4.

Champions League Debut and Domestic Success

On 20 August, in the team’s third league match of the season, Hazard assisted on Lille’s opening goal, scored by Benoît Pedretti, in a 2–1 win over Caen. A month later, on 10 September, he scored two goals in a 3–1 away victory against Saint-Étienne. Four days later, Hazard made his UEFA Champions League debut in a 2–2 group stage draw with Russian club CSKA Moscow.

In Lille’s next league match following his Champions League debut, he converted a penalty in a 2–2 draw with Sochaux. Three days later, Hazard scored the equalizing goal in a 1–1 draw against Bordeaux. Against Turkish outfit Trabzonspor on 27 September, he assisted on Lille’s only goal, scored by Moussa Sow, in a 1–1 draw.

After going over two months without scoring a league goal, on 3 December, Hazard came on as a substitute and scored the match-winning goal in a win over Ajaccio, converting a penalty—described as an “Antonín Panenka-style chipped penalty”. Two days later, Hazard was among several players nominated for UEFA’s Team of the Year for the 2011 calendar year.

In Lille’s final match before the winter break, Eden Hazard scored the team’s third goal in a thrilling 4–4 draw against Nice. This goal not only tied his career-high for league goals in a season but also held special significance. Hazard paid tribute to Molami Bokoto, a former Lille youth academy player who had tragically passed away the day before.

Post-Break Triumphs and Setbacks

After the winter break, Hazard continued his goal-scoring spree. In Lille’s first match, he netted his ninth goal of the campaign during a dominant 6–0 victory over amateur club Chantilly in the Coupe de France. However, the team faced setbacks, losing 2–0 to league rivals Marseille and getting eliminated from both national cup competitions.

Hazard’s impact remained pivotal. On January 28, he converted a penalty to secure a 3–0 win over Saint-Étienne. Later, he showcased his free-kick prowess against Bordeaux, helping Lille recover from a 4–1 deficit to salvage a 4–4 draw. Unfortunately, Bordeaux snatched a last-minute victory with a 5–4 scoreline. Hazard’s double strike in a 2–2 draw with Auxerre on March 3 further highlighted his importance.

Dominating Local Rivals

March 18 saw Hazard shine again, scoring a goal and assisting on two others as Lille triumphed 4–0 over local rivals Valenciennes. His penalty conversion and assist in the 3–0 win against Evian showcased his versatility. Finally, on April 1, 2012, Hazard’s first-half penalty and another assist led Lille to a 2–1 victory over Toulouse.

On 15 April, Hazard marked his 100 consecutive Ligue 1 appearance, which to date, is the longest current run in the French top flight, by scoring a goal and assisting on another in a 4–1 win over Ajaccio. A week later, Hazard scored another goal, this time in a 2–0 win over Dijon.

On 29 April, in a vital league fixture against Paris Saint-Germain, he converted his ninth penalty of the season to draw the match at 1–1, cancelling a goal from Javier Pastore. Hazard later contributed to Lille’s game-winning goal after delivering a rabona-style cross into the box, which was laid onto the path of striker Nolan Roux, who subsequently converted the goal to give Lille a 2–1 win.

On 28 April, for the third consecutive season, Hazard was nominated for the UNFP Player of the Year award. Two weeks later, he was awarded the prestigious honour ahead of the likes of Olivier Giroud and Younès Belhanda. After capturing the award, Hazard became the second player in the award’s history, after former Paris Saint-Germain striker Pauleta, to achieve the honour in consecutive seasons.

He was also included in the Team of the Year for the third straight season. On 20 May, Hazard appeared in his final match as a Lille player, coincidentally against Nancy, the club he made his professional debut against. In the match, Hazard recorded his first professional hat-trick in a 4–1 win.

2012-13: Chelsea Debut and First Trophy

On 4 June 2012, Chelsea officially confirmed on its website that the club had agreed terms with Lille for the transfer of Hazard. The transfer fee was reported to be £32 million. Hazard was given the number 17, which José Bosingwa previously wore. On 18 July, he made his Chelsea debut in the club’s first pre-season friendly against the Seattle Sounders and played the majority of the match, opening his Chelsea scoring account.

Eden Hazard playing for Chelsea Club

Eden Hazard playing for Chelsea Club.

On 12 August 2012, Hazard made his competitive debut for Chelsea in the 2012 FA Community Shield against Manchester City, which ended in a 3–2 defeat at Villa Park. A week later, he made his league debut against Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium. In the contest, Hazard provided the assist for Branislav Ivanović’s opening goal and, minutes later, won a penalty, which Frank Lampard converted, earning his side a 2–0 victory.

He made his Stamford Bridge debut in the team’s next fixture, against Reading on 22 August. He won another penalty from which Lampard converted. Hazard also assisted on goals by Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanović as Chelsea won 4–2 at Stamford Bridge. Three days later, Hazard scored his first goal as a Chelsea player in the team’s league match against Newcastle United after scoring a penalty. Chelsea won the match 2–0.

Champions League and Goal-Scoring Form

Hazard made his Champions League debut for Chelsea in the team’s opening group-stage game against Juventus. On 6 October, he scored his second goal for Chelsea in a 4–1 win against Norwich City. During December, he scored in back-to-back games, in a 5–1 away victory over Leeds United in the League Cup and an 8–0 League win against Aston Villa.

In January 2013, Hazard scored a goal with his left foot from 25 yards in Chelsea’s 4–0 win over Stoke City, as Chelsea inflicted the first home defeat of the season on Stoke. He scored again in the following game, with an impressive strike from the edge of the area in a 2–2 draw at home to Southampton.

The Ball Boy Incident and Comebacks

On January 23, 2013, during the Football League Cup semi-final second-leg match against Swansea City, he received a red card for kicking a ball out from underneath a ball boy who was lying on it. Chelsea ultimately lost the tie 2–0. Subsequently, he and the ball boy exchanged apologies, but it later emerged that the 17-year-old had deliberately planned to delay the game.

On 9 February, he scored on his return from suspension in a 4–1 win at home against Wigan Athletic. On 21 February 2013, Hazard came on as a substitute against Sparta Prague and scored an individual goal in stoppage time to send Chelsea through to the last 16 on a 2–1 aggregate score. Again, Hazard came off the bench to make an impact for Chelsea, scoring a goal and providing an assist to Ramires, as the Blues came back from 2–0 down to salvage a 2–2 draw against Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on 10 March, setting up a replay at Stamford Bridge.

On 17 March 2013, Hazard put in a Man of the Match performance at Stamford Bridge in a 2–0 victory over West Ham United, assisting on Frank Lampard’s 200th Chelsea goal, then scoring a solo goal.

On 11 May 2013, at Villa Park, Hazard was the provider of Lampard’s brace against Aston Villa, which enabled Lampard to break Bobby Tambling’s all-time goal-scoring record for Chelsea. However, an injury picked up in the same game ruled him out of the 2013 UEFA Europa League Final. Hazard ended his debut campaign at Chelsea with 13 goals in all competitions.

2013–14 Season

One of Chelsea’s first games of the season was against Bayern Munich in the 2013 UEFA Super Cup, where Hazard played a vital role in the buildup to the first goal and scored the second, but went on to an eventual 5–4 defeat in the penalty shoot-out. In October 2013, Hazard, as a substitute, scored the game-clinching goal in a 3–1 Premier League clash against Norwich City at Carrow Road before scoring twice and assisting Samuel Eto’o’s first Chelsea goal in a comprehensive defeat of Cardiff City in the same competition.

Eden Hazard scoring a goal for Chelsea.

Eden Hazard scoring a goal for Chelsea.

Hazard netted his fifth goal of the season against Schalke in a crucial 0–3 Champions League Group Stage win. In October, he was part of the 23-man shortlist of players nominated for the prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or.

On 9 November 2013, Hazard created Chelsea’s first goal against West Bromwich Albion, which Samuel Eto’o scored. Later in the match, Chelsea went 2–1 down, but Hazard scored a last-minute penalty to clinch a point for his team.

On 4 December 2013, Hazard scored a brace in a 4–3 away victory over Sunderland, with coach José Mourinho claiming that Hazard delivered his best performance of the season. Sunderland manager Gus Poyet also praised Hazard for his individual impact on the game.

On 26 December 2013, Hazard scored the only goal in Chelsea’s 1–0 victory over Swansea. In Chelsea’s next league match, Hazard scored a goal from 25 yards during Chelsea’s 2–1 victory over Liverpool. The following week, he netted the opening goal in Chelsea’s 2–0 victory away to Hull City.

Key Goals and Hazard’s Hat-Trick

After Hazard maintained his excellent form in Chelsea’s 1–0 victory over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on 3 February 2014, Mourinho declared Hazard as the best young footballer in the world. Hazard scored his first Premier League hat-trick against Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on 8 February.

On 27 April 2014, Hazard won the PFA Young Player of the Year award and finished as the runner-up to Luis Suárez for the PFA Player of the Year award for his fine attacking performances under José Mourinho. After Chelsea’s Champions League exit against Atlético Madrid, Hazard claimed that Chelsea are only set up to counter-attack. Mourinho responded by saying that Hazard “is not so mentally ready” to help his defence, blaming him for the first goal scored by the opponents.

In May 2014, Hazard was voted Chelsea’s Player of the Year in his second season at Stamford Bridge.

2014–15: Penalty Record and European Feat

Upon Juan Mata’s departure from the club in January 2014, Hazard was handed the number 10 shirt for Chelsea ahead of the 2014–15 season. On 5 October, he won a penalty against Arsenal after being fouled by Laurent Koscielny.

Then he converted it himself past Wojciech Szczęsny to open a 2–0 victory, making Chelsea the last unbeaten team in the league. In doing so, he maintained his 100% penalty record out of 16 penalties. He also became the only player in Europe who has taken more than 15 penalties and scored all of them.

His first goals of the Champions League campaign came on 21 October, netting from the penalty spot and from open play in a 6–0 home win over Maribor. On 5 November, away to the Slovene team, he earned an 85th-minute penalty but had it saved by Jasmin Handanović in a 1–1 draw.

Hazard opened the scoring in Chelsea’s 2–0 win over Hull on 13 December, with the goal being only the second headed one of his entire career. The header came as a surprise for many, even Mourinho, who stated: “That he scored in the air, I was surprised. He jumps a lot, but normally, he closes his eyes. So I was surprised, but an excellent goal.”

On 12 February 2015, Hazard signed a new five-and-a-half-year contract with Chelsea. After signing, Hazard said: “I’ve signed a new contract, and I’m thrilled because I’m playing for one of the best clubs in the world.” He played the full 90 minutes in the club’s victory in the League Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on 1 March, a 2–0 win over Tottenham.

PFA Player of the Year and Premier League Title

On 18 April, Hazard scored the only goal in a home win over Manchester United after he latched on to Oscar’s backheel pass to score past David de Gea. He was voted Man of the Match thereafter for his performance. As a result of Hazard’s impressive performances throughout the 2014–15 campaign, his manager declared him “one of the top three players in the world”.

On 26 April, Hazard was recognized as the best player of the season among his peers, winning the PFA Player of the Year. A week later, he scored the only goal as Chelsea defeated Crystal Palace to win their first Premier League title since 2010. He won a penalty after being fouled by James McArthur and took it himself, heading in the rebound after Julian Speroni saved it.

On 26 May 2015, Hazard was voted as Chelsea’s Player of the Year for the second year in a row. Only four other players have done it in the past: Juan Mata, Frank Lampard, Ray Wilkins, and John Hollins.

2015–16: From Missed Penalties to Title Deciders

Hazard endured a difficult start to the 2015–16 season, missing a penalty in the Champions League group stage against Maccabi Tel Aviv. On 27 October, in the fourth round of the League Cup away to Stoke, Hazard was the only player to miss in Chelsea’s penalty shootout elimination, his attempt being saved by Jack Butland.

Hazard endured a 2,358-minute scoreless run across 30 matches until 31 January 2016, when he scored from the penalty spot, his 50th goal for Chelsea in all competitions, in a 5–1 win over Milton Keynes Dons in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

In February 2016, Hazard was scrutinized when he said it would “be difficult to say no” to a move to Paris Saint-Germain. He remained scoreless in the league until 23 April, when he recorded two goals in a 4–1 victory at Bournemouth. After the result, interim manager Guus Hiddink insisted that Hazard would remain at Chelsea by next season.

For the second consecutive campaign, Hazard scored the goal that decided the Premier League. He came on as a substitute at home to Tottenham on 2 May and scored an equalizer as Chelsea came from 2–0 down at half-time to draw. The result meant Leicester City won the title at Tottenham’s expense.

On 11 May 2016, Hazard scored his fourth and final league goal of the season against Liverpool, although Chelsea were unable to hold on to the lead, with fellow countryman Christian Benteke scoring in extra time as the match finished in a 1–1 draw.

2016–17: Premier League Triumphs

On 15 August 2016, in Chelsea’s opening Premier League match of the season, Hazard scored a penalty in a 2–1 win over West Ham United. Hazard recorded a total of 81 touches throughout the game, and his performance earned him the Man of the Match.

On 27 August, he contributed another Man of the Match display in the 3–0 victory over Burnley, scoring the opener in the ninth minute. After voting ended on 5 September, Hazard received the most votes from the public poll, 41%, for the Premier League Player of the Month award. However, Raheem Sterling was later named the Player of the Month by a Premier League panel.

On 15 October 2016, Hazard and Diego Costa dedicated their goals to Willian, whose mother had died earlier that week, in the 3–0 victory over the champions, Leicester City. On 23 October, he scored his fourth goal of the season in a 4–0 win over former Chelsea manager José Mourinho’s Manchester United, equalling the number of league goals he managed in the previous season.

Hazard continued his excellent form, scoring the first goal and assisting the second in Chelsea’s 2–0 win over Southampton on 30 October. This marked the first time that he had scored in three consecutive Premier League games.

His run of form continued into the next match as he scored two goals and assisted another in Chelsea’s 5–0 win against Everton at Stamford Bridge on 5 November. Hazard’s performance against Everton earned him another Man of the Match award, his third in a row in the Premier League. On 18 November 2016, Hazard was named the Premier League Player of the Month for October.

On 26 December 2016, Hazard led the Blues to their twelfth consecutive league victory, a new club record, in the 3–0 victory over Bournemouth. He also converted a penalty for his 50th Premier League goal, making him the sixth Chelsea player to achieve this feat.

On 20 April 2017, Hazard was named in the PFA Team of the Year for the fourth time in his five seasons at Chelsea. Two days later, he scored after coming on as a substitute in Chelsea’s 4–2 FA Cup semi-final victory over rivals Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium.

2017–18 season

At the beginning of the summer, Hazard suffered an ankle injury in training during international duty.

Eden Hazard holding his injured leg

The injury ruled him out for 6 to 8 weeks, missing the entire preseason and the Premier League opener. On 25 August 2017, Hazard returned to action, playing 75 minutes for the Chelsea U23 side.

On 28 October 2017, Hazard scored his first league goal of the season in a 1–0 win against Bournemouth in the Premier League. On 3 January 2018, Hazard scored in a 2–2 draw with rivals Arsenal. Two goals against Brighton & Hove Albion on 20 January made it 100 league goals in his career. Hazard’s double helped Chelsea to a 4–0 win at Falmer Stadium. On 12 February, Hazard scored a double in a 3–0 win over West Bromwich Albion.

In the 2018 FA Cup Final on 19 May, Hazard entered Manchester United’s penalty area, where defender Phil Jones fouled him with a sliding tackle. Hazard took the penalty kick, sending it low to the right past United goalkeeper David de Gea for the only goal of the game.

2018–19 season

Hazard scored on his first start of the 2018–19 season, converting a penalty in a 2–1 win against Newcastle United on 26 August. On 15 September, Hazard scored a hat-trick in a 4–1 win over Cardiff City. He came off the bench to give Chelsea a 2–1 come-from-behind win over Liverpool in the third round of the EFL Cup at Anfield on 26 September. It was his sixth goal in seven appearances to start the season.

In the next fixture, against Liverpool in the Premier League, he made it seven goals in eight games, opening the scoring in a 1–1 draw at Stamford Bridge. On 16 December, Hazard scored and assisted a goal for Pedro as Chelsea won 2–1 away to Brighton & Hove Albion in the league before coming off the bench to send Chelsea through to the EFL Cup semi-final at the expense of Bournemouth three days later.

He scored both goals in a 2–1 Boxing Day win against Watford at Vicarage Road, the first of which was his 100th Blues and 150th career club goal. On 9 May, Hazard scored the decisive penalty in a 4–3 shootout win over Eintracht Frankfurt at Stamford Bridge to send Chelsea to the Europa League Final. His tally of 15 assists for the 2018-19 Premier League season saw him win the Premier League’s Playmaker of the Season award.

On 8 April 2019, Hazard scored a solo goal against West Ham United, which would be voted as Premier League Goal of the Month for April. On 9 May 2019, he scored the decisive penalty in a 4–3 shootout win over Eintracht Frankfurt at home to send Chelsea to the Europa League final.

His tally of 15 assists for the 2018–19 Premier League season saw him win the competition’s Playmaker of the Season award. On 29 May, Chelsea won the 2018–19 Europa League with a 4–1 win over Arsenal in the final, in which Hazard scored twice, also assisting Pedro’s goal.

After the match, Hazard expressed his desire to leave Chelsea after seven years at the club, stating that he “want[ed] a new challenge.” He was included in the ESM Team of the Season for his performances in the 2018–19 season and the FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11 for 2018 and 2019. Hazard also won the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year award as well as every individual Chelsea award, the only player in the club’s history to do so.

Real Madrid, 2019–2021: Fitness Struggles and Decline in Form

On 7 June 2019, Real Madrid announced that Hazard would be joining the club for the 2019–20 season. He signed a contract until 30 June 2024 for a reported fee of €100 million, which could rise to €146.1 million due to additional fees, on a deal worth £400,000 per week.

Hazard became Madrid’s most expensive player after Gareth Bale, who was signed for €101 million in 2013, and, depending on certain variables being met, the club’s most expensive player in its history.

Hazard was formally unveiled in front of 50,000 fans on 13 June 2019 at the Santiago Bernabéu. Upon signing with Madrid, Hazard said, “I’ve dreamt about this since I was little. I always supported Real Madrid” and described it as “a true honour.” He listed manager Zinedine Zidane as a defining factor in making the move, as he had always been his admirer.

Hazard made his debut on 14 September 2019, coming on as a substitute in a 3–2 home victory over Levante in the 2019–20 La Liga. On 5 October, he scored his first competitive goal for Los Blancos right before halftime against Granada in his first home league start. In the second half, he made his first assist, which was to Modrić in an eventual 4–2 victory. Despite a slow start to life in the Spanish capital, Hazard eventually rediscovered his form, completing 38 dribbles and giving two assists in six matches.

However, this streak, which began in the 5–0 victory over Leganés on 30 October, ended when he suffered a microfracture to his right ankle on 26 November in the Champions League group stage game against Paris Saint-Germain after a rash challenge by Belgium teammate Thomas Meunier. Hazard went on to miss 16 Madrid matches across four competitions.

2020-21 season

On 31 October, Hazard scored his first goal in over a year, which was also his first goal of the 2020–21 season in Madrid’s 4–1 home league win over Huesca. On 25 November, he scored his first Champions League goal as a Madridista in a 2–0 away win against Inter Milan.

On 5 May 2021, Hazard apologized following criticism for laughing with former teammates Kurt Zouma and Édouard Mendy after Real Madrid’s 3–1 aggregate defeat to Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final. Four days later, he scored his first goal in over three months, a backheel goal against Sevilla in the sixth minute of stoppage time, which temporarily kept Madrid in the title race.

2021–2023: Continued Struggle and Departure

In the 2021–22 season, Hazard was playing respectably well early in the season but faced competition from Vini Jr., causing him to be pushed to the periphery of Carlo Ancelotti’s main starting eleven. Hazard’s relationship with Ancelotti would sour later on in the season.

Hazard then suffered from a minor knock and gastroenteritis. On 20 January 2022, Hazard scored his first goal of the season, a 115th–minute winner against Elche to send Real Madrid to the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey. On 30 April, Hazard won his second La Liga title with Real Madrid following a 4–0 home win against Espanyol. On 28 May, he won his first Champions League title after Real Madrid beat Liverpool 1–0 in the final; he remained an unused substitute throughout the match.

At the start of the 2022–23 season, Hazard was motivated to turn things around. On 6 September 2022, Hazard assisted Luka Modrić and later scored his 200th career goal in his first Champions League game of the season in a 3–0 away victory against Celtic. Despite showing promise early in the season, Hazard was later confined to a fringe role in Ancelotti’s team, only making six appearances from October until the end of the season.

In March 2023, Hazard revealed that his relationship with Ancelotti had utterly broken down and that the two “don’t talk” to each other, a key factor relating to the Belgian’s limited playtime. On 3 June 2023, Hazard and Real Madrid reached a mutual agreement to terminate his contract at the end of the season, ending his time at the club after four years. His term in Madrid saw him score just seven goals and only 12 assists in 76 appearances across all competitions. Critics were labelling him as “the greatest flop in Real Madrid history.”

National career


Hazard played for various Belgian national youth teams, such as the under-17 and under-19 teams. With the under-17 team, he was a regular in the team, making 17 appearances and scoring two goals. He played with the team in the Toto Cup, a yearly international youth tournament held in Austria and also played in the 2007 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship, which Belgium hosted.

Hazard scored his only goal in the team’s opening match against the Netherlands in the tournament, converting a penalty in a 2–2 draw. The match was a homecoming for Hazard, as it was played in Tubize, where he spent part of his youth career. Throughout the tournament, Hazard impressed media and coaches, which led to many in Belgium comparing him to Belgian football legend Enzo Scifo.

Belgium suffered elimination in the semi-finals of the competition, losing to Spain 7–6 on penalties. Belgium were minutes away from a victory, courtesy of an own goal from David Rochela, which Hazard was mainly instrumental in. However, Barcelona striker Bojan Krkić equalized for his nation to send the match into extra time.

Due to finishing in third place at the tournament, Belgium qualified for the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, held in South Korea. Hazard was selected to participate and played in all three group-stage matches, where Belgium were eliminated.

After playing at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in August and September 2007, Hazard began earning call-ups to the under-19 team the following month in October. His first appearance came in a 2008 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship qualification match against Romania, coming on as a substitute in a 4–0 victory. He subsequently played in the next two group-stage matches against Iceland and England.

Belgium lost both matches. The negative results eliminated the country from the tournament. Due to being an underage player the previous year, Hazard was eligible for the under-19 team for the 2008–09 season. Due to his growing participation with Lille’s first team, Hazard was only allowed to play in 2009 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship qualification matches by his club and, as a result, missed the 2008 edition of the Milk Cup, which was held during Lille’s preseason.

On 7 October 2008, Hazard scored his first under-19 goal in the team’s 5–0 victory over Estonia. Three days later, he scored a double in a 2–2 draw with Croatia. Hazard led the team in goals in the Elite Round, scoring three. In the opening match against the Republic of Ireland, he scored the lone goal.

In the next match, Hazard was influential in the team’s 5–0 thrashing of Sweden scoring a goal and assisting two others. In the team’s final match, they faced Switzerland. Belgium needed an outright victory to progress to the 2009 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship. Still, it were eliminated from qualifying after drawing 1–1 with the Swiss, despite Hazard opening the scoring for Belgium in the 21st minute.

Early senior

On 18 November 2008, Hazard was called up to the Belgium senior team for the first time by manager René Vandereycken for the team’s match against Luxembourg. Prior to making his national team debut with Belgium, Hazard was courted by French Football Federation officials who sought the player to play for the France national team as he had become eligible for French citizenship.

Hazard did not respond to the courtship and later stated, “Because of my presence in France for seven years, I feel 99% Belgian and 1% French, but the idea of French citizenship has never crossed my mind”.

Hazard made his highly anticipated debut for Belgium in the match against Luxembourg, coming on as a substitute in the 67th minute for Wesley Sonck. On his debut, Hazard became the eighth youngest international player in Belgian football history, at 17 years and 316 days.

On 12 August 2009, after three consecutive substitute appearances with the team, he made his first start under coach Franky Vercauteren in the team’s 3–1 friendly loss to the Czech Republic. Following the resignation of Vercauteren, he was replaced with manager Dick Advocaat. Under Advocaat, Hazard became a starter in the team and, on 14 November 2009, played a full match for the first time in his international career. In the match, which was played against Hungary, Hazard assisted on two goals in a 3–0 win.

In May 2010, Advocaat was replaced as manager by Georges Leekens. After featuring as a starter in Leeken’s first three matches in charge, Hazard began appearing as a substitute for Belgium during the 2010–11 season.

Leekens justified his benching of Hazard, citing the players’ domestic performance, which had been underwhelming at the time, while also admitting that Hazard displayed a lack of desire in training with the national team and often neglected his defensive duties during international matches.

After appearing as a substitute in two straight matches, Hazard returned to the starting lineup for the team’s November 2010 friendly match against Russia. In the match, which Belgium won 2–0, Hazard assisted in the team’s opening goal, scored by Romelu Lukaku.

After featuring as a starter in the team’s 1–1 draw with Finland in February 2011, Hazard was relegated back to the substitute’s bench for the team’s important March 2011 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying matches as Leekens preferred Nacer Chadli and Mousa Dembélé on the wings.

In the team’s 29 March qualifier against Azerbaijan, he appeared as a second-half substitute and assisted on the team’s final goal in a 4–1 win. Following the matches, French media began questioning why Hazard was struggling to be appreciated in his home country while, at the same time, was being praised in France. Marc Wilmots, assistant coach of the national team, responded to the media reports stating, “Some people only see Eden’s qualities” and “the French press is sometimes blinded by his moments of magic”.

In Belgium’s next competitive match against Turkey on 3 June 2011, Hazard started the match but was substituted after 60 minutes. Disappointed with his performance and substitution, the midfielder retired to the locker room.

It was later spotted on television outside the stadium with his family eating a hamburger while the match was still ongoing. Following the episode, which has become known as Burgergate in Belgium, Hazard apologized for the defection. At the same time, Leekens attributed Hazard’s response to the substitution as “a young player making a mistake”.

On 4 August, Leekens announced that Hazard would be disciplined for his actions during the Turkey match and, as a result, would miss the team’s 10 August friendly match against Slovenia, as well as the team’s Euro qualifying return match against Azerbaijan on 2 September and friendly against the United States four days later. On 9 August, Hazard’s management group issued a press release to the Belgian media.

The release detailed Hazard’s actions during the Turkey match, criticized the player’s three-match suspension, as well as questioned Leeken’s constant criticism of Hazard. On 25 August, it was announced that Leekens had lifted Hazard’s suspension, and the midfielder was subsequently named in the team to play the September fixtures. Leekens decided to lift the suspension after having a meeting with Hazard that the player’s agent organized.

On 7 October 2011, nearly three years after his debut, Hazard scored his first international goal against Kazakhstan in a 4–1 victory. The victory inserted Belgium into second-place position in its group in qualifying for UEFA Euro 2012, with the team needing a victory over Germany on 11 October to secure a place in the qualifying playoffs. In the match against Germany, Hazard played the entire match as Belgium failed to earn a place in the European Championship, losing 3–1 in Düsseldorf.

2014 World Cup and Euro 2016

Hazard made nine appearances in the Red Devils’ successful 2014 World Cup qualification campaign, scoring twice. The first of these came on 22 March against the Republic of Macedonia at the Philip II Arena, converting a penalty to conclude a 2–0 win after being fouled by Aleksandar Lazevski. Three days later, in the reverse fixture, he beat two defenders before scoring the only goal of the game.

On 13 May 2014, Hazard was named in Belgium’s squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He assisted Dries Mertens’ winning goal in the team’s first game of the tournament, a 2–1 win against Algeria in Belo Horizonte. In Belgium’s second match, he assisted Divock Origi’s 88th-minute goal, giving the Red Devils a 1–0 win over Russia and qualifying them for the knockout stage, eventually reaching the quarter-finals, where Argentina eliminated them.

On 7 June 2015, due to the suspension of regular skipper Vincent Kompany, Hazard captained Belgium for the first time in a friendly against France at the Stade de France, scoring a penalty for Belgium’s final goal in a 4–3 victory. He won another penalty in a UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match on 3 September when fouled by Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Ognjen Vranješ. He converted it past his Chelsea clubmate Asmir Begović to conclude Belgium’s 3–1 comeback victory.

Three days later, he finished Mertens’ cross with four minutes remaining for the only goal in an away win over Cyprus. On 10 October, Hazard scored a spot-kick again after Óscar Sonejee’s handball in a 4–1 win over Andorra, which sealed Belgium’s qualification to the continental championship for the first time since co-hosting UEFA Euro 2000.

Due to the absence of Kompany, Hazard was named captain of Belgium for the UEFA Euro 2016 finals. He scored a solo goal against Hungary in the last 16 before Belgium were eliminated by Wales in the quarter-finals. Alongside Aaron Ramsey, he finished as the top assist provider of the tournament with four assists.

2018 World Cup

Hazard was appointed captain of Belgium for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. In the first game against Panama, he assisted the third goal of the match scored by Lukaku as Belgium won 3–0. He then scored twice (which included a penalty) in their second group-stage victory against Tunisia.

His penalty goal in the 6th minute was the team’s second-quickest goal in the history of the tournament. Hazard did not play in Belgium’s 1–0 victory over England as he, together with eight other starters in the previous two matches, was rested by Roberto Martinez.

In Belgium’s 3–2 victory over Japan in the last 16, Hazard was instrumental in mounting a comeback from a two-goal deficit as Belgium became the first team in 52 years to come back from 0–2 down to win a World Cup knockout match.

Hazard was again in scintillating form as he helped lead Belgium to its second World Cup semi-final in its history with a 2–1 victory over five-time champions Brazil. In that game, Hazard set a World Cup record for successful dribbles completed in any World Cup game since 1966, with a 100% success rate in ten dribbles.

In the semi-finals, which was a tight game, Belgium was defeated by eventual champions France 1–0 courtesy of Frenchman Samuel Umtiti’s header and France’s subsequent deep defence. On 14 July, Hazard ensured victory for Belgium with his goal in the 82nd minute in a 2–0 victory against England in their third-place play-off, his nation’s best-ever World Cup finish.

At the end of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on 15 July, the FIFA Technical Study Group (TSG) selected Hazard as the second-best player of the tournament, awarding him the Silver Ball. In addition to his dribbling, he scored three goals and provided two assists in total.

UEFA Euro 2020, 2022 FIFA World Cup and Retirement

Hazard made his 100th cap for Belgium during the Euro 2020 qualifiers in a 2–0 away win against Cyprus in March 2019, scoring the second goal in that match. Hazard captained Belgium to become the first team to qualify for the tournament.

Hazard featured in three out of Belgium’s five games during the tournament, in which he provided an assist for Kevin De Bruyne to score the winning goal against Denmark. Due to later injury, he could not play in the quarter-final match and witnessed the team being ousted by Italy.

Hazard was selected for Belgium’s 2022 World Cup qualification campaign, assisting once in a 5–2 win against Estonia and scoring in a 3–0 victory over the Czech Republic. Belgium manager Roberto Martínez later praised him. On 7 December 2022, following Belgium’s group stage exit at the 2022 World Cup, Hazard announced his retirement from the national team at the age of 31.

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