By ESPNSTAR.com staff
Zidane, the legendary French midfielder, currently works for Real Madrid as a sporting director and has a high opinion of the Belgian youngster. Last year, he had commented that he "would sign Hazard with [my] eyes closed" when the rumour mill began linking the 21-year-old with a switch to the Premier League.
And it appears that Zidane is revered by the Belgian who revealed the 40-year-old to be one of his chief inspirations as a footballer. Zidane won three league titles, a Champions League and the 1998 FIFA World Cup and was thrice awarded the FIFA World Player of the Year award and is widely considered as one of the best midfielders in footballing history.
Hazard stated that he enjoys playing as an advanced attacking midfielder, in the coveted number 10 role, primarily because of Zidane's performances in a similar capacity during his playing career. Despite the words of praise received by the Frenchman, however, Hazard also insisted that he remains focused on improving as a player and does not take his talent for granted.
"He [Zidane] was my role model, I've always wanted to play like him," Hazard told Champions Matchday magazine.
"I've always liked the number 10, because it is one of Zidane.
"When he started talking about me, I didn't understand what was happening any more. But he must have said that about other players, so I knew I had to keep on working."
Hazard has won the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year as well as the Player of the Year award as a 20-year-old, replicating the achievement completed by Zidane during his time at Bordeaux.