Hazard won't leave Chelsea in January but wants Spain move

By Jamie Smith 11 October 2018 31
Hazard won't leave Chelsea in January but wants Spain move

Eden Hazard says he will not leave Chelsea in January but wants to play in LaLiga to boost his chances of winning the Ballon d'Or.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the award for the past decade, winning five each, while Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric is many people's favourite for the 2018 prize.

Hazard has been named on the 30-man shortlist and has made a stunning start to the Premier League season, leading the race for the Golden Boot with seven goals.

But the 27-year-old will enter the last year of his Chelsea contract at the end of the 2018-19 season, leaving the Blues in a similar position to when they sold Thibaut Courtois to Madrid this year.

Hazard has regularly spoken of his desire to play for the European champions, most recently in the past week, and agreed his Ballon d'Or hopes would be increased if he played in Spain given there has been no winner based in the Premier League since Ronaldo at Manchester United in 2008.

"That's why I want to go, maybe," Hazard told a news conference.

However, when asked if he could leave Stamford Bridge in the January transfer window, Hazard replied: "No."

Hazard feels he can still work on his game to grow as a player and does not think he is in the form of his life.

"Of course, you can always improve in football," Hazard said. "We can score more goals, more assists. The team is helping me a lot also, I can improve for sure.

"I'm in a pretty good shape at the moment. I hope to continue like this for a long time. Honestly, I think I have already been in a better shape than I am now.

"Statistically, this is the best season start I ever had. But on the pitch, I have already been better at Lille and Chelsea."

Hazard is on international duty with World Cup semi-finalists Belgium, who face Switzerland in the Nations League on Friday.

A 3-0 away win over Iceland got Belgium's campaign off to a flying start last month and Hazard feels the tournament is a key goal for his side.

"The game against Switzerland is an important game. The coach really wants to win," Hazard said. "That's because winning the Nations League is our main goal. It's preparation for the Euro 2020 championship.

"We want to perform even better at Euro 2020. That means [reaching] the final. We have to keep our feet on the ground and keep working. Then we'll get there."

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Jamie Smith