Today’s Player of the Day is Chelsea and Belgium international Eden Hazard. Born 7th January 1991 Hazard primarily plays as an attacking midfielder and a winger.
Hazard is known for his creativity, speed, and technical ability and is described as a "fearless, explosive attacking midfielder who can change the game with a turn of pace or a dribble". He has earned critical acclaim for his playing style, which has led to the media, coaches, and players drawing comparisons to FIFA World Player of the Year winners Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Hazard is the son of a former Belgian footballer and began his football career in Belgium playing for local clubs Royal Stade Brainois and Tubize. In 2005, he moved to France joining first division club Lille. Hazard spent two years in the club's academy and, at the age of 16, made his professional debut in November 2007. In his first full season as a starter, he won the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Young Player of the Year award becoming the first non-French player to win the award. In the 2009–10 season, Hazard captured the award again becoming the first player to win the award twice. He was also named to the league's Team of the Year. Since making his debut in 2007, Hazard became an integral part of the club under manager Rudi Garcia racking up over 190 appearances. In the 2010–11 season, he was a part of the Lille team that won the league and cup double and, as a result of his performances, was named the UNFP Ligue 1 Player of the Year becoming the youngest player to win the award. Hazard was also given the Bravo Award Italian magazine Guerin Sportivo for his performances during the 2010–11 season. In June 2012, after over eight years at Lille, Hazard departed the club, amid much transfer speculation, to join English club Chelsea.
In May 2012, Hazard revealed, via his official Twitter account, that he would joining Premier League club Chelsea stating "I'm signing for the champion's league winner". On 4 June, Chelsea officially confirmed on its website that the club had agreed terms with Lille for the transfer of Hazard. The midfielder agreed personal terms with the club and passed a medical examination. The transfer fee was rumoured to be priced at £32 million, while Hazard will reportedly receive a weekly wage of around £170,000. Many Chelsea fans are already getting excited about Hazard linking up with the likes of Juan Mata and Fernando Torres to help the club build on its European and FA Cup success from last season. Upon signing Hazard was given the number 17, which was previously worn by José Bosingwa. On 18 July 2012, Hazard 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.
Hazard is a Belgium international, having represented his nation at under-17 and under-19 level. Prior to starring for the senior team, he played on the under-17 team that qualified for the 2007 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship and 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Hazard made his senior international debut in November 2008, at the age of 17 years and 316 days, in a friendly match against Luxembourg. Nearly three years after his debut, Hazard scored his first international goal against Kazakhstan in October 2011.
Become a fan of Hazard on Facebook by liking his Official PFA page: