Chelsea ace Eden Hazard gave an interview in which he described his path from childhood fascination with football to the current professional game at the Blues.
Hazard gave an interview to Chelsea official website to speak about this :
What age were you when you first started playing?
I was around four. I started playing at home, in the garden, and I tried to learn some skills from watching videos at a very early age.
At what age did you master keepy-uppies?
I was probably six or seven when I first started trying to do them but obviously at first, and when you are young, it’s difficult. I started trying to do them with one bounce in between each volley and I managed to do quite a lot, and then I gradually managed to build it up, so that was a good way to learn.
When did you start playing matches?
When I was five I played for a team in my village and that was my first team. My godfather was the manager and I joined them but I was the youngest player in the whole team.
What particular skill did you work on most as a kid?
The nutmeg, which is known as panna in French, and also another skill which Zidane used to do when he would spin on the ball. I still like the nutmeg, Oscar did three at Tottenham on Sunday, it’s a good skill to use.
Outside Chelsea, who are the most skilful players you have played with or against?
I played with Gervinho at Lille, he had a lot of skill and he was very quick as well. In the national team we have a lot of them: Yannick Carrasco, a young player at Atletico Madrid, Dries Mertens, Kevin De Bruyne, Kevin Mirallas, they are all very good and like to show their skills in matches.
What is the best piece of skill you’ve ever seen during a match?
It was by Robinho for Brazil against Italy, I think it was in a friendly and the ball came to him on the touchline and he did some step-overs and sent the defenders the wrong way. Another Robinho one was when he looked like he was going to cross the ball from out wide and then scored with a shot. I can’t remember who it was against but it was fantastic.
What’s the best piece of skill you’ve produced in a game?
When I was in France playing for Lille against Monaco, I was on the wing and beat a few defenders with some skills. Against Southampton at home last season I did two nutmegs. In my first season against West Ham I scored a good goal and in the same game there was another piece of skill I did. I try to do something in every match. Also at Lille I scored a left-footed goal from about 35 yards against Marseille (below).
How does it feel when something you’ve worked on in training comes off in a game?
Training is completely different to a match because you can try something and if it doesn’t work there is no problem, but when you practice something in training and then it works in a game it’s a sensational feeling. You know that you’ve worked hard on the training pitch and it’s paid off.