Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard in the 2018 World Cup.

A pacey and brilliant striker, Eden Hazard has of late been slightly out of form, but his new chances in 2021 reflect a chance to reassert his world-class status.

Born in La Louviere, Belgium, Eden and his two brothers, Thorgan and Kylian, immediately had a serious affinity to the beautiful game. An apocryphal story about his childhood says that Eden frequently snuck out to a local soccer stadium to practice when one day the coach brought him home to his parents not to scold him, but to praise his talent. Regardless of whether this is actually true, it certainly seems to fit the mold- starting for LOSC Lille at age 16, his astute passing and dribbling ability easily distinguished him from the rest. Signed for the

then-Champions League winners Chelsea in 2012, Hazard went on to become a terror of the Premier League, where he was fouled an incredible 638 times, 40% more than anyone else from 2012 to 2019. Meanwhile, taking the helm of the Belgian national team alongside teammate Thibaut Courtois, he helped steer the Belgian national team into a new era, leading them to a quarterfinal finish in the 2014 World Cup and a semifinal finish in the 2018 Cup as well as a remarkable quarterfinal performance in Euro 2016.

His multiple outstanding performances both domestically and internationally made him adored by fans and constantly eyed by other teams, and in 2019, the long-rumored transfer of Hazard from Chelsea to Real Madrid finally went through. Though certainly not currently in his peak form, we have begun to see Hazard begin to acclimate to the environment in Madrid and start to return to the stellar quality that fans came to expect of him at Chelsea. Like other players plagued by injury, the delay actually contains a silver lining for Hazard, 29, who was injured and not expected to return to the field until May 31. Now, he has the chance to reassert himself on the global stage and spur himself back into the player that was such a… Hazard… to opposing defenders.