EDEN HAZARD PROFILE


BIOGRAPHY
Eden Hazard
born 7 January 1991 is a Belgian football player who currently plays for French club Lille in Ligue 1 and the Belgium national team. He 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 also been described as "a defender's nightmare" and 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 former Belgian football players Carine and Thierry Hazard and began his football career in Belgium playing for local clubs Royal Stade Brainois and Tubize. In 2005, he ventured 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 has become an integral part of the club under manager Rudi Garcia racking up over 140 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 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.

Hazard was born in the city of La Louvière, but was raised in Braine-le-Comte, a small town in the Wallonia region. He grew up in a football dominant family. His mother, Carine, and father, Thierry (not to be confused with the French singer and songwriter of the same name) were both footballers in Belgium. His father spent most of his career playing in the Belgian Second Division with R.A.A. Louviéroise, while his mother played as a striker in the Belgian Women's First Division. Hazard is the eldest of four children. He has three younger brothers all of whom play football. Thorgan, 17, plays in the youth academy of Lille's most hated rivals RC Lens. Hazard's other younger brothers Kylian, 15, and Ethan, seven, remain in Belgium playing in the youth academy of Eden's former club A.F.C. Tubize. Kylian is set to join Lille when he turns 16.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 meters" 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. Hazard is currently is a relationship with girlfriend Natasha. On 19 December, Belgian and French media announced that she had given birth to a baby boy.Hazard primarily plays as either an attacking midfielder or a winger and has been credited as being "possibly the outstanding talent in Europe right now". Under Lille manager Rudi Garcia, Hazard often plays in the latter role in the team's 4–3–3 formation and regularly switches flanks due to his ability to effectively use both feet. Two of Hazard's most common exemplary traits is his pace and technical ability, which has been described as both "astonishing" and "mesmerizing", respectively.Club captain Rio Mavuba described Hazard as "a great player, with an immense talent. He’s actually not that big, but he’s so fast. He’s also very difficult to dispossess and his finishing is top notch" Hazard's pace coupled with his finishing and inability to be dispossessed easily led to his former coach Claude Puel dubbing him "little Messi", in reference to the Barcelona star. Puel's sentiments were later echoed by former Marseille manager and media personality Rolland Courbis who commented "At times it looks to me like Lionel Messi on the right-hand side".[69] Hazard's "flair and tricky" style of play has been described as being similar to Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo; a comparison later repeated by former French international Christophe Dugarry. His vision, described as being the trait he has improved on the most, has allowed him to develop into an effective passer, which compensates for his relatively low goal-scoring output.

In Belgium, Hazard's talent and similar ascension up the country's football hierarchy has led to comparisons to former Belgian international Enzo Scifo. Both players share the same 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". However, despite the positive opinions, Hazard has endured criticism from some. His former national team coach and mentor Dick Advocaat agreed with the majority in that Hazard possessed everything required to be a world-class player, however Advocaat admitted that the attacker lacked charisma stating "I told him to have more charisma. He is a talent, but he can not be seen like that forever".In 2010, current national team manager Georges Leekens questioned Hazard's work-rate. Lille youth academy director Jean-Michel Vandamme countered both managers criticism by arguing that Hazard simply possesses an intellectual honesty that is out of the ordinary and unexpected of today's footballer declaring "He is a real competitor, not a cheat, nor a moaner, because you don’t hear him complaining when he gets fouled". Hazard's calm and cool demeanor on the field has been cited as one of his best attributes. So far in his career as a professional, in which he has accumulated over 130 appearances, Hazard has collected only nine yellow cards.



PLAYERS DETAILS
Full name: Eden Hazard
Date of birth: 7 January 1991 (1991-01-07)
Place of birth: La Louvière, Belgium
Height: 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)

Playing position: Attacking midfielder
Winger

Club information
Current club: Lille
Number: 26

Youth career
1998–2003 Royal Stade Brainois
2003–2005 Tubize
2005–2007 Lille


Senior career*
2007– Lille 109 (16)

National team‡
2007–2008 Belgium U17 17 (4)
2008–2009 Belgium U19 9 (6)
2008– Belgium 20 (0)

SOURCE
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