Eden Hazard will be blowing 31 candles on her birthday cake today.
While it might be crazy to think that the Belgian superstar is now three seasons away in his nightmare at real Madrid, it is undeniable that he continues as a generational talent.
Football fans still hope that Hazard will finally be good at the Bernabeu because the joy he has brought us with his spellbinding performances at Chelsea will never be forgotten.
Hazard’s time with Lille
And in the spirit of celebrating Hazard for his 31st round around the sun, we figured he would take our minds back to a simpler time when the winger was about to make his big move in 2012.
It’s easy to think it’s been almost a decade since Hazard bid farewell to Lille with his dazzling displays in France, ultimately prompting Chelsea to open their checkbook for Â£ 32million.
In fact, Hazard was so untouchable in Ligue 1 that he could even produce the goods when he was recovering from a big night, or at least that’s the story of his last game with Lille.
It is well known that Hazard pulled off a hat trick on his bow for the French club, but it is much less well known that the 21-year-old managed the feat with barely a sleep and possibly a huge hangover.
Reaction to Chelsea’s 2-0 match at Tottenham (terrace football)
Hazard’s white night before the final match
But don’t take our word for it, as the timeless story is courtesy of former Hazard captain Rio Mavuba, who recounted the night’s festivities – according to the objective – in a fun way.
âWe were sure to finish third and we faced Nancy the next day. Mavuba told reporters. “It was Hazard’s last game with Lille and he wanted to organize a little something.
“We decided to go have a little drink. A little drink that dragged on a bit. The next morning, Eden was still drunk.
“That night against Nancy, even with 30 minutes of play, Eden had already achieved a hat-trick.
âThe guy hadn’t even slept, he drank all night and he did a hat-trick in 30 minutes. We all looked at each other. [and] we figured this guy was the real deal. “
Hazard’s brilliant hat-trick against Nancy
Can’t wait to see some footage from the game now, right? Well, that says a lot about the Belgian’s brilliance that you wouldn’t know he was shattered scoring the treble which you can watch below:
#OnThisDay in 2012@ hazardeden10 threw a party the day before his last Lille game against Nancy and drank all night until the morning, then later that night he scored a hat-trick in 30 minutes. what a man
– Hazardista (@ Hazardista__10) May 20, 2020
It’s a way to escape a hangover.
It’s staggering to think that Hazard pocketed the match ball in the 35th minute considering the context, and it was all the more amusing that Lille made reference to drinking in their celebrations.
It might not have been up there with Paul Gascoigne reproducing the “dentist’s chair” at 96 euros, but it was a nice nod and a nod to a story that wouldn’t be told in its entirety before a few years.
And in the end, it turned out to be a fitting end to Hazard’s time in France ahead of a lucrative move to Stamford Bridge that would record 352 games, 110 goals and six major honors.
We can only cross our fingers that Hazard can rediscover that form for Real and who knows, based on evidence from Lille, maybe a few birthday drinks could be the secret.