Eden Hazard: I want to Become a Chelsea Leader

Eden Hazard joined a dressing-room full of legends when he moved to Chelsea five years ago, but, with John Terry set to bring the final curtain down on the club’s golden oldies, the Belgian believes it is time for the new generation to take on the world.

Terry is the last man standing from the days of Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Petr Cech when Chelsea won back-to-back Premier League titles, the Champions League and also completed a League and Cup double in 2010.

Terry will leave the club after Saturday, but, suggesting he will stay at Chelsea past this season, Hazard believes he is one of a fresh band of leaders ready to fire the club into a new era of success.
Eden Hazard

Chelsea are confident Hazard will sign a new £300 000-a-week contract after holding positive talks with the 26-year-old over his future, during which he was told that he has the talent and the opportunity to create his own Stamford Bridge dynasty.

“The last 10 years in Chelsea it was great,” said Hazard. “They won a lot of trophies, now it's like a new generation. Lampard is finished, Didier Drogba is finished, Ashley Cole, John Terry now. So it's a new generation and we want to prove that the club is one of the best in the world. So we have to be ready for that.

“We have this new manager, we have a couple of young players so everything is ready to build something.”

Hazard may not be a traditional leader in the mould of Terry, Lampard or Drogba, but he has led by example on the pitch this season – scoring 16 Premier League goals and making five more. The forward also has the experience of having won four trophies at Chelsea, with the opportunity to secure his first FA Cup winners’ medal at the weekend.

Asked whether he is keen to take on more responsibility, Hazard said: “Me? Yeah, we have a couple of players. Now I play my fifth year at Chelsea, you know we have some guys who have a lot of experience, so we are ready for that. We have a couple of leaders - I try to be one on the pitch. We have a lot of guys who can do that.”

Although he will not start in the final, Terry could bow out at Chelsea with 16 winners’ medals and Hazard would love to get close to that figure.

“You know, I'm still young, I'm still 26,” said Hazard. “He did something great in his career. I didn't win a lot yet - I won a couple of titles, but him everything. I hope to have the same opportunities.”

Hazard is constantly scrutinised over whether or not he can reach the levels set by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but he prefers not to think about exactly where he ranks in the world.

“Sometimes you are at the top and sometimes not,” said Hazard. “People are always talking, I don't care about that. I try to be the best I can. In the world I'm not alone - they have some good, good players. I don't know if I am top five, top 10, top 20. It's not my target. I just want to enjoy my football.

“Players like Ronaldo and Messi are leaders. They are people that want to be better every day. That's why they are at the top for the last 10 years. They need to prove - we all need to prove - every day, but I don't think too much about that. I just concentrate on myself, on football, on the pitch, on the training ground. Then I will see.”

Arsene Wenger has claimed he was interested in signing Hazard for Arsenal, before he joined Chelsea from Lille for £32million in 2012. The player himself insists he was never close to moving to the Emirates and is very happy with his choice.

Asked whether Arsenal tried to sign him before Chelsea, Hazard replied: “Er, no. They were talking a little bit, but not with me personally.

“I signed for Chelsea and in my head it was to win titles. Maybe not like this. I won already two Premier League, one League Cup, one Europa League. It's not bad, but it can be better. The FA Cup and Champions League, why not?”

Ominously for Arsenal, Hazard believes his best moment of what has been a season full of brilliance came in the Premier League victory over Wenger’s team in which he scored one of the goals of the season.

“It was one of the best for me, personally,” said Hazard. “Also for the team to win against them is always good. We lost the game away. To score a beautiful goal like this was good for the confidence. Can I do that at Wembley? I hope. I'm ready and we are all full of confidence. So why not?”

Why not, indeed. - The Telegraph

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