Hazard was dubbed 'laziest' Chelsea team-mate but he didn't care – his skill was matched only by his carefree attitude | The Sun

CHELSEA fans are feeling blue this morning after Eden Hazard retired from the beautiful game.

One of the most naturally gifted players to ever grace English football, the 32-year-old’s career tragically fizzled out after leaving Real Madrid and failing to find a new club.

Equally adept with both feet, Hazard was a true delight to watch in action.

Combining the balance of Lionel Messi, the speed of Thierry Henry and the poise of George Best, it will be a long time before we witness such a refreshing talent in the Premier League.

Hazard was already a big cheese before his bargain £32million Chelsea move in 2012, having led French side Lille to their first title in 57 years.

Hopes were high at Stamford Bridge following the previous season’s historic Champions League success.



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And Hazard delivered the goods in sumptuous style, scoring 110 goals in 352 games.

Like Claude Makelele as an anchorman, he redefined what it meant to be a complete winger.

He could do it all, from dribbling with the ball like it was glued to his feet, to curling home a top corner screamer from outside the box.

Not since the days of Gianfranco Zola had someone so naturally blessed in pure footballing talent graced the Stamford Bridge turf.

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His genius with the ball saw Hazard deservedly land a plethora of trophies including two titles, two Europa Leagues and FA Cup.

And his role in 2016’s title-denying Battle of the Bridge against Tottenham will go down as one of the all-time great Chelsea performances.

But it was his relatability which struck a real chord with fans.

Hazard shunned the crazy diets and intense gym sessions that many rivals were obsessed with.

Instead, the burger-munching Belgian was content with scheduled training sessions before playing family man with his beloved wife and children at home.

Hazard’s carefree attitude saw him labelled “lazy” in some quarters, with former boss Jose Mourinho a critic.

But all it meant for fans was that his natural talent shined through even stronger on the field, with every twist and turn full of grace and grandeur.

It also took little away from his role as a natural dressing room leader.


Hazard was the constant talisman for team-mates across several great Chelsea sides, each one drawn to his charisma, charm and lack of ego.

Even when it was no secret that Real Madrid wanted him in 2019, Hazard still led from the front with two goals in the 4-1 Europa League final win over Arsenal.

Sadly for the ace, his move to the Bernabeu would spell the beginning of the end.

Having been a player who would feature in almost every league match at Chelsea, Hazard immediately encountered fitness and injury issues at Real.

The Spanish giants would never get to enjoy the sublime highs that Hazard brought to fans in London.

But he still had one more gift for Chelsea, securing them a £142million fee thanks to Real’s domestic and European successes.

All in all, Hazard was a player who encapsulated everything great about the game.

When talking about an all-time greatest Premier League XI, Hazard must be involved.

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He became synonymous with fun, joyous and successful football — something the new Chelsea hierarchy are striving towards.

And Todd Boehly will likely need to spend another billion to find a player with half as much talent as the legendary Belgian.

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