Even though it's been less than a year, it seems like we've come a long ways since Eden, Jose, and The Passport Incident.
Sure, Hazard had always come across as an ambitious young man, but the last 12 months under Mourinho seem to have given him extra focus, purpose, and determination. And while he, along with the rest of the team, faded a bit towards the end of the season -- and then he picked up a rather untimely injury as well -- he is back with a vengeance and ready to resume his assault on the Messis and Ronaldos (and Zidanes) at the game's upperest of upper echelons.
"Am I better than Zidane? No. Maybe one day."
"I don't like it when people compare me to players like that. I am not right now better than them. They are up here (He holds his hand high) and I am still here (lowers it). I need to work. But I am getting closer."
With the Zidane-inspired No.10 back on his shirt - "I asked for it when Juan Mata left. Because my idol was a number 10." -- Hazard knows what he needs to do personally and he knows what the Chelsea boss asks of him.
"Chelsea is not just one player. Not only me. We have some good signings now like Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa. Together, we can beat every team."
"The boss does ask a lot of his players. The strikers, he obviously asks them to score. The defenders, to stop goals. All coaches ask players to play better. A player like me, he wants to score AND to stop goals."
"I learn every day. I learn with Mourinho to improve in defensive situations. I try to give my best. I know my job is to score and to make assists, but if I can help in other ways, it's a pleasure."
There may have been some friction between the club's biggest star and the club's biggest ego -- you decide which one is which -- but there seems to be none of that in evidence as we begin our quest to be champions once again.
"I'm the same player now after [the World Cup] - but I am more experienced. We played against the best teams in the world. It will be good for my future."
"I know as soon as a game is finished if I have done well, I don't need people to tell me. I want to achieve perfection. Brazil was good, but not perfect."
"Chelsea last season was not perfect, because at the end I was injured. We lost to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals, we lost league games at the end, lost our form. The season as a whole was good, but the last months were not."
"I know I need to score more goals. And we need to be champions."
The previous quotes are all from this Express story. There will also be a big interview with Hazard on Sky soon; you can watch a sneak preview right here. Good luck avoiding getting pregnant from that wink.