Saturday, January 7, 2012

7 January 1991 - The Entrance Of Eden

On 7 January 1991, midfielder Eden Hazard was born in La Louvière, Belgium. He has since become one of the world's most exciting young players and is the reigning Ligue 1 Player of the Year.

Both of Hazard's parents played football, then both went into academics after their playing careers ended. In 2005, the then-14-year old Hazard joined Lille as a youth player, then signed a professional contract with them in 2007 and made his first appearance for the first team that November in a friendly.

An attacking midfielder/winger, he secured a spot in the senior team for the 2008-09 season and became the youngest goalscorer in club history when he netted the equalizer in Lille's 3-2 league win over Auxerre on 20 September. He went on to contribute six goals and three assists in 35 appearances that season, a performance that won him the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award. He won the award for a second time after the 2009-10 season with 10 goals and nine assists in 52 appearances.

Hazard continued to improve in 2010-11, scoring 12 goals and providing 10 assists as Lille won their first league title in over 50 years. And they won it comfortably, eight points clear of second-place finishers Marseille. It was part of a double, as Lille also won the Coupe de France that year. For his role, Hazard was named the Ligue 1 Player of the Year and was included in the league's Team of the Year.

Midway through the 2011-12 season, he continues to improve, having provided a total of eight goals and six assists so far.

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