First, we had the wife. Eden Hazard's wife is forcing him to move back to France, screamed the headlines. Of course, the actual quote was nowhere near that dramatic. In fact, it was said in a joking tone with a wink and a smile, which, if you've ever seen Hazard in any public appearance, will not come as a surprise.
I ve seen the Canal+ documentary with Eden Hazard's wife/PSG comment. His tone reveals he says it with a wink. He's a joker, you know. #cfc— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) April 7, 2014
Have just seen this Hazard quote, made to Belgian tv on wife/PSG gate: 'I jokingly tried to make clear that I decide my future." #cfc— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) April 7, 2014
We stay with Kristof as we move to the second story, the latest one about Belgium national football team coach Marc Wilmots supposedly urging Hazard to move back to France, and PSG specifically, to truly test himself against the best. Ignoring the absolutely laughable part of that comment about how moving to Ligue 1 would provide a higher level of competition for Eden, we find the English tabloids melding two disparate interviews into one story devoid of its proper context and intent.
The 'Wilmots urges Eden Hazard to join PSG'-rubbish is still popping up. He didn't advise it at all. Check Canal+ before you copy.@Squawka— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) April 10, 2014
So what's the actual story? Here's John Chapman, who always has his thumb well-placed on the pulse of Belgian football.
The Marc Wilmots comments about PSG and Eden Hazard have been very confusing. Certainly looks like the UK press 'invented' a story. (1/3)— John Chapman (@BelgoFoot) April 10, 2014
On Canal+, Wilmots made (at least ) two comments: First he said Hazard would have a chance to step up a level in Paris in the CL QF. (2/3)— John Chapman (@BelgoFoot) April 10, 2014
Later on Canal+, in discussion on Ibrahimovic, Wiilmots commented that he and & Hazard were totally different but could be complementary.— John Chapman (@BelgoFoot) April 10, 2014
The UK press appeared to join the two comments and drop a bit, i.e. Hazard could step up a level in Paris and be complementary with Ibra.— John Chapman (@BelgoFoot) April 10, 2014
Canal+ programme on Eden Hazard (with Wilmots, brother Thorgan, Rudi Garcia, Yohan Cabaye etc) is at http://t.co/B5ytvvbYks - recommended.— John Chapman (@BelgoFoot) April 10, 2014
Stay classy, red tops.
P.S.: The Metro eventually published a story refuting their own story from earlier, though without admitting that they actually made it all up.