Eden Hazard wants to win the Champions League with Chelsea
In an interview with Standard Sport, Eden Hazard spoke about his desire to win the Champions League. He’s been a big part of Chelsea’s attacking threat en route to their Capital One Cup and Premier League triumphs this season.
The Belgian national recently signed a contract extension with Chelsea to keep him at the West London club till 2020. Though, the Blues expressed their desire to keep him at the club for 10 years.
When asked if he could see himself playing for Chelsea for such a long time, he said: “Why change? If you’re happy and things are going really well at one place, there is no need to change.
“Obviously, these things don’t just depend on me but whenever you’re enjoying your football and having the chance to win trophies, it would be silly to change.”
Jose Mourinho, however, earlier remarked that the physical nature of the Premier League might result in Hazard wanting to move away if he didn’t receive more protection from referees. While the Chelsea winger said he would appreciate the extra protection, he added: “Over here people like a scrap, like a battle. I will just keep playing the way I do.
"I will try and entertain the fans, create assists, score goals and concentrate on that regardless. I can still take the hits, it’s not a problem for me. I accept the blows. I can take the punches like a boxer.”
On the club’s European aspirations
Chelsea were knocked out of the Champions League Round of 16 with the odd situation of not having lost a game in the competition.
Hazard joined the Blues within a month of their 2012 Champions League win and has since won the Europa League as well apart from this season’s honours.
“The Champions League is the one thing missing from my career,” he said.
“When I look at the history of the competition and the people that have taken part, the top, top players have all won it. For many it is why they have been regarded as top players.
“So if I want to be considered in that upper, upper level of top players I need to win the Champions League at some point. Obviously it is not easy, it is a tough tournament to go all the way to win. But it is something as a club I think we can do and we have to always dream of.
“I have imagined that feeling of what it would be like to lift the trophy. Let’s hope we get a chance to do it.”
He has constantly been compared to the world’s top players in the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo who have both tasted Champions League glory. All the attention has firmly placed the spotlight on Eden Hazard.
Frank Lampard - role model?
The increased limelight for the Player of the Year means a number of invitations to parties and other off the pitch distractions. Hazard, however, has insisted that he is more of a family man and prefers staying at home.
He added: “I want everyone to have a good image of me, not just the Chelsea fans, everyone throughout the football world. In a similar style to how Frank Lampard is viewed. He is respected by everyone, I want that and to have a good clean image.”
Having spent two years with Chelsea’s talismanic midfielder, he spoke about how much he absorbed from Lampard. “You can’t help but learn from having players like Frank around you when you’re training and playing alongside him every day,” he explained.
“I remember my very first training session with the club and we had a break and Frank said: ‘Can I get you some water, do you want a drink?’ It was incredible. As the new guy I felt like I should have been the one to be getting Frank, who has won so many trophies, water. But that is what he was like.”
“Having the chance to spend two seasons alongside him, you just learn what an exemplary player and professional he is. You got the feeling that this was a player respected by everybody and everywhere — not just in the club but outside too.
“I watched how hard Frank was working at training despite having won so much already (11 major trophies with Chelsea in all) and knew I had to do the same. As a youngster you can’t help but be inspired by people like Frank. He sustained his career at the highest level till the age of 36 and that is not for any reason.
“He worked hard at his game physically and technically. I don’t know if I will get to play until that age, I certainly want to. But I know I will have to work damn hard to do that.”
Eden Hazard has built many relationships at Chelsea including a strong one with Chelsea’s current boss Jose Mourinho despite what seemed like hurdles at the beginning that threatened to create rifts between the two.
He lauded the Portuguese manager for giving him the freedom to play his football despite the pragmatic approach that Chelsea have often adopted. Hazard is approaching what is considered the peak performing age for a football player, whether he can live up to the billing remains to be seen.