Belgium’s sensation Eden Hazard named PFA Young Player of the Year

OHMYGOSSIP — The Chelsea midfielder, who has scored 14 Premier League goals this term, finished ahead of Daniel Sturridge, who was named as runner-up with Southampton’s Luke Shaw in third.

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard* has been named the “PFA Young Player of the Year”**. The Belgian was handed the prize at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London (27.Apr. 2014). The 23-year-old has been rewarded for an impressive second season in English football, one in which he has produced a number of outstanding individual displays.

The Belgium international finished ahead of Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge, who was named as runner-up, while Southampton left-back Luke Shaw secured third place.

Hazard has been pivotal in Chelsea’s Premier League title challenge this season having scored 14 goals and registered seven assists in 33 appearances.

Eden Hazard was also named in the PFA Team of the Year, which also featured his Chelsea team-mates Petr Cech and Gary Cahill.

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey, Everton’s Ross Barkley and Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling were also on the initial list of nominees.

Congratulations for the highly prestigious award!


*Eden Hazard – born 7 January 1991, is a Belgian professional footballer, who plays for Chelsea in the Premier League and the Belgium national team. He primarily plays as an attacking midfielder and a winger. Hazard is known for his creativity, speed, and technical ability and is described as a “fearless, explosive attacking midfielder who can change the game with a turn of pace or a dribble”. He has also been described as “a superb passer” and has earned critical acclaim for his playing style, which has led to the media, coaches, and players drawing comparisons to FIFA Ballon d’Or winners Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Hazard is the son of former Belgian footballers and began his football career in Belgium playing for local clubs Royal Stade Brainois and Tubize. In 2005, he moved to France joining first division club Lille. Hazard spent two years in the club’s academy and, at the age of 16, made his professional debut in November 2007. He went on to become an integral part of Lille under manager Rudi Garcia, racking up over 190 appearances. In his first full season as a starter, he won the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Young Player of the Year award becoming the first non-French player to win the award. In the 2009–10 season, Hazard captured the award again becoming the first player to win the award twice. He was also named to the league’s Team of the Year.

In the 2010–11 season, he was a part of the Lille team that won the league and cup double and, as a result of his performances, was named the UNFP Ligue 1 Player of the Year becoming the youngest player to win the award. Hazard was also given the Bravo Award by Italian magazine Guerin Sportivo for his performances during the 2010–11 season. In June 2012, after over eight years at Lille, Hazard departed the club, amid much transfer speculation, to join English club Chelsea.

Hazard is a Belgium international, having represented his nation at under-17 and under-19 level. Prior to starring for the senior team, he played on the under-17 team that qualified for the 2007 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship and 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Hazard made his senior international debut in November 2008, at the age of 17 years and 316 days, in a friendly match against Luxembourg. Nearly three years after his debut, Hazard scored his first international goal against Kazakhstan in October 2011.

** The Professional Footballers’ Association Young Player of the Year – (often called the PFA Young Player of the Year, or simply the Young Player of the Year) is an annual award given to the player aged 23 or under at the start of the season who is adjudged to have been the best of the season in English football. The award has been presented since the 1973–74 season and the winner is chosen by a vote amongst the members of the players’ trade union, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA). The first winner of the award was Ipswich Town defender Kevin Beattie. The current holder is Eden Hazard, who won the award for his performances throughout the 2013–14 campaign for Chelsea.

Although the award is open to players at all levels, all winners to date have played in the highest division of the English football league system. As of 2012, only Ryan Giggs, Robbie Fowler and Wayne Rooney have won the award on more than one occasion. Only five players from outside the United Kingdom have won the trophy, compared with nine winners of the main PFA Players’ Player of the Year award. Although they have their own dedicated award, players aged 23 or under at the start of the season remain eligible to win the Players’ Player of the Year award, and on three occasions the same player has won both awards for a season.

A shortlist of nominees is published in April and the winner of the award, along with the winners of the PFA’s other annual awards, is announced at a gala event in London a few days later. The players themselves consider the award to be highly prestigious, because the winner is chosen by his fellow professionals.



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