Eden Hazard is Belgium’s coveted striker/midfielder who serves as a leader both on and off the field for the national team. Watch the video above to see highlights of Hazard from the 2013-2014 season.
Here’s what you need to know about him:
1. Belgium’s Manager Marc Wilmots Depends On Him to Lead Against the U.S.
Although Hazard is just 23-years-old, he is known for being mature both on and off the field. Hazard never complains on the pitch which is considered rare for many footballers.
Belgium manager Marc Wilmots told media he trusts Hazard to help lead Belgium to victory against the U.S. in the Round of 16. Hazard has been recognized as a top player in Europe since his last season playing for Chelsea.
Wilmots told media:
Eden wants to do more, he can bring us more. Everyone knows that. So now I’m just waiting to see it and I’m not trying to put any pressure on him. I would like him to be a leader on the pitch even if he is just 23.
Hazard has yet to transfer his abilities onto the field at the World Cup with just 2 assists and 0 goals in 3 appearances, but is said to be a danger to the Americans in the upcoming knockout round on Tuesday.
Wilmots said of the upcoming match:
He can dictate the game, find the overlaps and score goals.
2. He Transferred From Lille OSC For $43.7 Million in 2012
In June 2012, Hazard officially joined Chelsea with a 43.7 million transfer fee from Lille OSC.
Hazard commented on the deal:
I’m delighted to finally arrive here. It’s a wonderful club and I can’t wait to get started”.
Hazard scored his first goal in his debut game for Chelsea.
3. He Reduced a 80-Year-Old Fan to Tears With a Gift
When Eden Hazard found out about 79-year-old Meme Francine‘s passion for football and her loyalty for the Belgian national team, he surprised her by sending her a signed shirt and video message saying “Meme Francine, for you, signed.”
4. Chelsea Will Raise His Salary By $5 Million to Avoid Transfer
PSG has been trying to land the Belgian footballer for awhile now, but Chelsea refuses to give him up so soon. Chelsea has agreed to increase his current salary of $15.7 million a year to $20.5 million in order to keep him in the Chelsea uniform.
PSG was willing to make the transfer for up to a rumored $99 million.
5. He and His Wife Started Dating at the Age of 14
— Jim Hazard (@jimhazard17) August 16, 2013
Hazard and his wife Natasha Van Honacker Hazard tied the knot in 2012 after two children and 7 years of dating. The couple has been together since they were 14 and had their first son when they were just 19-years-old (2010). Natasha stayed and finished high school after Eden left to play for professionally for Lille, but she later joined him when they both turned 18 and moved into a flat together.
Their second son was born in February of 2013.
Eden Hazard, wife Natasha & kids at Disneyland! – pic.twitter.com/SoNXd61lv4
— ParkedTheBus (@ParkedTheBus) September 4, 2013