Clubs: Lille, Chelsea
Position: Attacking midfielder, winger
Born: 7 January 1991 in La Louviere, Belgium
Transfer fees: Chelsea completed the signing of 21-year-old Hazard for a reported fee of £32 million in 2012 after beating off competition from the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal for the highly rated attacker. Even though he still has three years to run on his current deal he is expected to sign a new long-term contract with Chelsea in an effort to deter interest from Paris Saint-Germain.
International highlights: Before he made his Belgium debut aged 17 years and 316 days the French Football Federation had attempted to convince Hazard to defect but with no success. The attacker is the jewel in the crown of a particularly talented generation of Belgian players and earned 50 caps by his 23rd birthday, although he only scored six times during those games. A part of the 2014 World Cup squad, Hazard helped Belgium reach the quarter-finals where they lost to Argentina.
Club highlights: Hazard came to the attention of Europe’s big clubs during the 2010/11 season when he helped Lille win the League and Cup double in France. In his first campaign at Chelsea he won the Europa League.
Personal honours: During his four full seasons at Lille, Hazard won the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year for his first two and the Player of the Year for his final two. Since moving to Chelsea he has been named in the PFA Team of the Year twice and was also named as the Blues’ Player of the Year for 2013/14. Not bad for a player many consider not to have fulfilled his potential yet.
The record breaker: When he won the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award in 2008/09 Hazard became the first non-French player to achieve the honour and managed something Thierry Henry and Zinedine Zidane never did by winning it again the following season.
An amazing statistic: Hazard was named in his domestic division’s Team of the Year five times in a row between 2009/10 and 2013/14, with three coming in Ligue 1 and two in the Premier League.
Wealth and sponsorships: According to various online reports Hazard is worth somewhere in the region of £100 million and earns over £8m a year from Chelsea and his various sponsorship deals, the most significant of which are with Nike and EA Sports.
— Eden hazard (@hazardeden10) August 21, 2014
Controversies: In an episode that came to be known as Burgergate in Belgium, Hazard was banned from being selected for the national side for three matches when he was filmed leaving the stadium and eating a burger while the game was still being played after being substituted during a Euro 2012 qualifier. The ban was later lifted following clear the air talks between the player and Belgium manager George Leekens. Hazard has also been accused of laziness by Leekens and at Lille, something Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has made indirect references to on occasions.
There’s more? In January 2013 Hazard was sent off in a League Cup semi-final against Swansea after appearing to kick a ball boy as he attempted to retrieve the ball when it went out of play and believed the ball boy was not forthcoming in returning the ball. Hazard later apologised but it remains one of the more bizarre situations witnessed on a football pitch.
Private life: Hazard is the oldest of four brothers all of whom are also footballers including Thorgan who is a Chelsea player. The other two Kylian and Ethan play in Belgium and his parents Thierry and Carine were both semi-pro. He is married to Natasha whom he began dating at the age of 14 and married in 2012. The couple have two children, Yannis and Leo.
Social media: With over 13 million followers across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram there is no doubting Hazard’s standing as one of the elite footballers in world football.