• News

Gianfranco Zola rates Eden Hazard as Chelsea’s greatest foreign player

Eden Hazard, Chelsea, Premier League, Robbie Savage, Frank Lampard
Getty Images

Assistant coach Gianfranco Zola rates the “unbelievable” Eden Hazard as Chelsea’s greatest foreign player.

Upon completing a £32m move from French side Lille OSC in the summer of 2012, Hazard has developed into one of Europe’s finest players.

The Belgian winger has entertained fans at Stamford Bridge for seven years with his mesmerizing dribbling skills and creativity down the Chelsea flank.

He’s also helped the Blues win two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and the EFL Cup along with the Europa League.

But it’s not just his clever little tricks that Hazard’s renown for at Chelsea, with the 28-year-old having chipped in 108 goals and 87 assists in his 344 appearances.

Amid rumoured interest from La Liga giants Real Madrid, ex-Liverpool star Peter Crouch claimed that Hazard isn’t far off from matching Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of pure talent.

Therefore, Blues icon Zola rates Hazard above even himself when picking out the club’s best-ever foreign recruit.

“Eden Hazard’s definitely at the very top,” said Zola, according to Yahoo.

“He’s such an unbelievable player. The more I’ve spent time with him the more I appreciate him as a player, but also as a boy.

“He’s been great. I would love to have him for longer. What we are trying to do here perfectly suits him. It’s no coincidence that he’s having his best season.

“I don’t want to take anything away from him and what he has achieved. But certainly, the way we play helps him a lot.

“Of course we hope that Hazard will stay with us because he’s such an important player for us.”

Chelsea will be hoping that Hazard will be at the top of his game for tonight’s return leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie against Slavia Prague, with kick-off set for 21:00 (CEST).

Maurizio Sarri’s side hold a 1-0 aggregate lead over their Czech opponents.