Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard has revealed that the target to be back on the Ballon d’Or shortlist to be the best player in the world is his motivation behind a stunning rise in form this season.
The second most goals scored. The second best defensive record in the Premier League. Second in the league table. Chelsea are well and truly flying at the moment. Antonio Conte has turned the tide that threatened to send their season spiralling down, akin to the 2015-16 disastrous campaign, after consecutive losses to Liverpool and Arsenal.
A change in system that has worked wonders at Stamford Bridge. Ever since the shift to the 3-4-3 system, Chelsea have won five games on the bounce, scoring 16 goals without conceding even once. Their latest success came against Everton as they thrashed Ronald Koeman’s side 5-0 last week to go top of the table provisionally on Saturday night.
At the centre of the Italian manager’s renaissance of the Blues is talismanic winger Eden Hazard. The Belgian winger has scored in each of the five games in the golden period since the start of October to take his tally to seven for the season.
That is already higher than the numbers he notched up last season, and, after being excluded from the final shortlist of the Ballon d’Or, the Belgian has attributed his resurgence to the motivation of regaining his place among Europe’s best.
As reported by Mirror, Hazard said: “Last season I was not good, so for me it was normal that I was not on the list. But I want to come back on the list, and give everything to be on the list, not to be in the top 23 but to be in the top five. Yes, I want to reach that level.”
Hazard has been largely imperious this season and is starting to resemble the player who won Player of the Year in the 2014-15 title winning campaign. His form over the next 27 games will be crucial to Chelsea’s success this season and Antonio Conte will be hoping his star man can continue with his influential displays.