Eden Hazard keeps being asked the same questions, and he keeps giving the same answers. We’ve grown bored of this a long time ago — especially once he made it clear that no decision will be made before the end of the season — and while Hazard has soldiered on, even he’s a bit over the whole thing for now.
So when France Football posed “the question” to him in their latest interview (conducted two days after the Spurs defeat in the League Cup semifinal first leg), he decided to toy with them for a bit — “You know it very well; you’re asking the question but you know what the answer will be. So you don’t have to ask it” — because it’s all a bit of a laugh for him.
FF: Would a move to Real please you?— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) January 21, 2019
- EH: “Why not?”
FF: Why not?
- EH: “You know it very well. You’re asking the question, but you know what the answer will be. So, you don’t have to ask it. ( )”
FF: Real without Zidane is still Real.
- EH: “It’s different, but still Real.”
FF: Do you have news from Zidane?— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) January 21, 2019
- EH: “No, I have never had.”
And then he adds that Zidane won’t decide his career. “If he goes to Manchester tomorrow, for instance, I will not be going there.”
Hazard’s laissez-faire answers do (unwittingly?) reveal (or confirm) a certain aspect of his personality that may be taking on greater significance in this very moment in time.
Just the other day, Sarri lamented quite publicly the fact that he finds Chelsea players “hard to motivate”. Now, here’s Hazard talking about how his motivation isn’t necessarily winning trophies, or scoring goals, or collecting assists, or just improving to be the best that he can. He’s in it just to have fun. This isn’t necessarily any different than what he’s always said, and it isn’t even necessarily a bad thing, but in light of the weekend’s events and declarations, it sure feels significant and quite telling.
“I do not know if I’m among the best players in the world. Because the best think goals, assists, trophies. And I have never been like that. So maybe ... but beyond that, in professional football, there are a lot of players like me who [just] want to have fun.”
“If this season, I finish with 30 goals and 20 assists, we will all say: ‘Oh yeah, exceptional’, even if I play rotten in all matches. But that’s not what I want. I do not care [about stats]! For example, I prefer a match like the one we just lost to Tottenham — I really got a big kick out of that. Zero assists, zero goals, like against Brazil (2-1 victory for Belgium in quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup), but those are the kinds of matches that I like, the ones that really make me happy to play football.”
-Eden Hazard; source: France Football via Google Translate
Eden Hazard on whether or not the Ballon D'Or is an objective of his: "Absolutely not. I have 3 Ballons D'Or at home, they are my children." (FF)— Get French Football News (@GFFN) January 21, 2019
How do you motivate a player whose main motivation is to have fun? It’s practically an impossible task, certainly to do so with any consistency.
“I didn’t just frustrate Conte. In my career I have frustrated all of my trainers. Now here I am frustrating [Maurizio] Sarri. They think I need to mark more, do more here, more than I am doing. And the next coach I have, I will also frustrate him!”
But of course we’ve always kind of known this about Hazard. His carefree attitude, wherever he may be, matches the Chelsea song, even if it doesn’t quite match the Abramovich m.o. — fun, but with trophies.
So where does that leave us? Same place as before.
“I have won everything in England, apart from the Community Shield, but that doesn’t mean that I’m leaving. I have always said that I wanted to explore something different after England. But there are also things that might make me stay.
“After the World Cup, I wanted to leave, but in the end I stayed at Chelsea and I’m playing one of my best seasons so far. So I don’t think that I need a different challenge. But that doesn’t mean that I will become better.”