Ahead of Belgium's Euro 2016 opener tomorrow against Italy, Captain Eden Hazard addressed the media in today's pre-match press conference. Among he usual rah-rah topics were questions about teammate and potential Chelsea transfer target Radja Nainggolan and questions about future boss Antonio Conte, who just happens to be the manager of Monday's opponents.
First, Hazard confirmed that both he and Thibaut Courtois have been whispering in Nainggolan's ear about a Chelsea move. No, this is not "tapping up" but in and of itself, it also means very little, other than the two of them rating the AS Roma man very highly. Chelsea still have to convince Roma to sell (i.e. $$$$) and have to convince Nainggolan to uproot his comfortable existence in the Italian capital (i.e. more $$$$).
"Thibaut and I want Radja Nainggolan to join Chelsea, but we are not in charge of the situation."
-Eden Hazard; source: Evening Standard
Hazard suffered a knock in Friday's training session, but is expected to not be any worse for the wear by the time kick-off rolls around. He's not only looking forward to getting Belgium off to a good start to a competition many expect them to win, he's also looking to impress the man in the opposing dugout.
"I can't wait for tomorrow night to get started. It is a great competition, being played in my second home country, so I am impatient to get going. This is the moment that our country has been waiting for."
"We saw already that the big teams had some tough matches to start with, but we'll give our best. Our team has quality and we must create as many scoring opportunities as possible."
"I am happy to play against my future Coach and hope to show he can count on me."
"We aim to reach the Final, it won't be easy, but we'll take it one game at a time. I appreciate being the captain. I am not someone who talks very much, but I want to show my captaincy on the pitch with the ball and set the example."
-Eden Hazard; source: Football Italia
Hazard called on his pal and chauffeur Kevin De Bruyne to also step up. It will not be easy against Italy.