Hazard, the Kid. He's growing up right before our very eyes!
"The day before the United game I told him: ‘This game we will never lose. Never.' But we needed to win. He understands clearly that, especially in a moment where the team doesn't have all its power, when the game becomes strategic, his talent is fundamental for the team. He copes better with the responsibility."
-Jose Mourinho; source: Guardian
There's a famous video of Jose giving a pre-match talk before a game in his second (?) season in charge -- it's from the Blue Revolution documentary -- where he relates similar sentiments to a room full of eager ears.
But with Hazard, he is not afraid to apply the extra pressure. We cannot lose, we won't lose. Guaranteed. But we also need to win, and you can be that difference! You probably will need to be that difference. You have the power.
"He's a kid, but he knows that he is one of the three best players in the world - he is coping with that responsibility."
"I had lots of stars. Hopefully in every club I worked I had stars. But he is the humble star, yes. He is the humble star."
"He's getting strong. Physically, mentally he's getting very, very strong. He understands his role."
-Jose Mourinho; source: Mail
Hazard the humble agrees.
"Last year I played a good season, but I disappeared in some games. This season I can't really remind a game where I really wasn't into. It's impossible to be top in 40 or 50 games in a season, but I've been the best player of the team for several times."
"My stats? People are talking more about me, but what pleases me the most, is that I'm doing better than last season."
-Eden Hazard; source: Mail
On another day, in a different context, such words could be interpreted as arrogance or perhaps even disrespect towards his own teammates. Remember the Atlético games last year? But in this season, in this context -- and knowing Hazard's generally carefree attitude -- these are great words. Eden has risen to the challenge, improving all aspects of his game to become the Premier League's best.
And luckily for us, he plays for Chelsea.