Jose Mourinho: Eden Hazard has asked me to get him all-round shin pads for protection
Eden Hazard has asked Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho to aid him in designing a shin pad that protects the front and back of his leg.
The Belgian winger is one of the most fouled players in the Premier League, having been brought down 74 times in 25 games. In the Champions League fixture against the French side Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, Hazard alone was fouled nine times.
Hazard wants me to get him custom all-round shin pads: Mourinho
“Eden told me to speak with my friends who make the carbon shin pads,” said Mourinho. “I am not joking. He told me to speak with them because I am friends with the guy, to try to make it also for the back [of his calves]. Like a horse, when the horses do the jumping – in front and behind. Because now he gets [kicked] behind.
“I know [Hazard is the most fouled player], but he is not the player that as a consequence of that creates more cards for the opponent. Normally, you get 100 fouls and the opponents will get a certain percentage of yellow cards. So if he is the most fouled player, he should be the player that creates more cards for the opponent but he isn’t.”
“I know who is, but I don’t say names because maybe the ones are the ones that want that and Eden doesn’t want that. He wants to play. He doesn’t want people to get cards and people to get a red card. I’m proud of him for being honest on the pitch and I leave it with the authorities to do something about the rest.”
“Referees have to understand that sometimes little fouls are big fouls in the context of the game. A player that is a specialist in stopping counter-attacks. The team loses the ball, he makes the foul. It is a small foul, but it stops the counter-attack. And I think Eden is punished in both ways.”
“If you see the game in Paris, he had nine fouls, but three of them were very bad fouls. Very dangerous fouls and nothing.”
Targeting Hazard is part of opponents’ strategy
When asked if the targeting Hazard was part of the opponent's gameplay while facing Chelsea, this was what Mourinho had to say: “Everything is connected. This is normal. It is normal that he has more attention.”
“He is a player who can beat people and that can win one against one. It’s normal that the teams have more attention with these kinds of players. It’s normal that some teams do double marking. They have one and then one immediately on cover. The rules allow this. This is a tactical approach and no problem about it. But after that there are the fouls. And the fouls have to be punished. It’s as simple as that.”