A brace and an assist from the mercurial Eden Hazard powered Chelsea to a second Europa League title and fifth European trophy in the club’s history.
Afterwards, Hazard essentially confirmed his farewell following seven glorious years glittered with individual and team honours.
Eden Hazard - Chelsea Football Club (2012-2019)— Lav (@LavCFC) May 29, 2019
2x PL Champion
1x FA Cup
1x League Cup
Thank you @hazardeden10 for an incredible 7 years. You will always be in our hearts. One of the best to ever grace this club and league. Legend. pic.twitter.com/H72RjG2t9U
His teammates, like us fans, have been lucky to witness all of that first hand, both in training and in games. Naturally, they do not want him to leave, especially those who played alongside him for many years.
César Azpilicueta, who saw his dream of lifting the Europa League trophy as (stand-in) captain come true, arrived at Chelsea the same summer as Eden Hazard. They’ve formed a close friendship since, and the Chelsea Captain does not want to lose that.
“It’s a big loss for us, as a player and as a person. We came here together seven years ago, we have won six trophies, it’s been amazing on and off the pitch for me. I can only wish him the best because he’s a very good friend of mine.
”The desire he’s shown on the pitch for the club, his behaviour as the star man, I think everybody in the club loves him. He’s not selfish - a lot of times I heard rumours about him leaving. In other situations maybe other players could push but he didn’t do it.
”I can only say all the best and we’re going to miss him.”
- César Azpilicueta; source: beIN Sports
While Azpilicueta grew up alongside Hazard — they were 22 and 21, respectively, in that summer of 2012 — a slightly older David Luiz got to witness Hazard in particular grow from a talented young prospect to one of the best players in the world.
“I think if he goes I just wish him all the best. He is a fantastic player, friend and guy. I’ve known him ever since he was so young here. I am so happy for him because the world knows who Eden Hazard is.
“It is part of life. Some cycles finish, some cycles start”
-David Luiz; source: Football.London
David Luiz spoke of his belief that Callum Hudson-Odoi can fill Hazard’s shoes, but putting that much responsibility on that 18-year-old’s shoulders is probably unwise. Others, like Willian, will have to step up, to fill the void left by their great friend.
“It’s difficult to find players like him. But if this happens, I want to wish him all the best, because he is a great man and a fantastic player. I like him so much, he’s like a brother to me.”
-Willian; source: Sky
It’s not too late to change your mind, Eden!