Delmoitiez: Hazard an astonishing talent

The general manager of Eden Hazard's first club, Pascal Delmoitiez, revealed that the player's talent was evident even in childhood.

Football News: Eden Hazard

By staff

The Belgian has put in some superb performances for Chelsea in the first few games of his debut season, and is widely expected to continue building on his good form.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Delmoitiez revealed that he first encountered Hazard when the then-five year old snuck into the Royal Stade Brainois football club field to take penalties.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing. He was tiny, no more than five years old, yet every penalty was flying into the top corner. Then I noticed he had nothing on his feet. No boots, no trainers, not even socks. And it was a real ball, not a light plastic one," he said.

"I couldn't understand how he was able to do that. I walked the length of the pitch, meaning to send him away with a flea in his ear, but I ended up knocking on his parents' door and inviting him to practise with the juniors at our training ground nearby."

The general manager refused to claim credit for any of Hazard's present abilities, as he insisted that the player already displayed flashes of brilliance from an early age.

"He was an astonishing talent even then," Delmoitiez stated.

"He would listen to what you told him, but you couldn't really teach him anything. You just threw him a ball, or passed it to him, and let him get on with it. It all came so naturally."

Hazard's talents soon saw him move on to Belgian Second Division club AFC Tubize, and the side's youth co-ordinator Fathi Ennabli was struck by how fast the midfielder was on the ball.

"He had just turned eight at the time and was tiny, but something happened every time he got the ball. His touch was exceptional and so was his acceleration over the first couple of yards," he described.

"It was taking him past one player after another."

Despite Hazard's silky skills, Ennabli believed it was the player's determination that ensured his success.

"There was something about him, apart from natural ability, that told me he was going to the very top. He always wanted to be out there, working on his game and trying to improve, for one thing," he revealed.

"He had so much going for him. He was very quiet but unfailingly polite, and there was a steely determination about him. He was actually fearless. He was always up against bigger, often older, boys, but it never fazed him. No amount of pressure could shake his self-belief."

Eden Hazard will feature for Chelsea in their Premier League fixture against Queens Park Rangers this Saturday.

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