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Hazard Thanks EPL for Consistency

  • ESPN FC, Thursday, March 28, 2013 12:40 PM

In an interview with French publication L’Equipe, Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard reflects on the lessons he’s learned in his first season in the English Premier League. The Belgium international, who scored in each of his country’s two victories in World Cup qualifying during the international break, feels the most important improvement to his game has been consistency.

“I've not performed well in some matches, very few, but I've never heard: 'Eden played badly',” Hazard said. “I've had a lot of good games this year.” He says he thought playing in England “would be harder physically,” and that playing for Lille in Ligue 1 prepared him sufficiently. “I get kicked less in the Premier League,” he said. “They're perhaps more violent, though. So now I don't even tackle," he joked. "I'm happy. I play all the time, and that's what I wanted. We'll see if I win trophies, that's the most important thing."

Hazard adds that the biggest difference between the EPL and Ligue 1 is the intensity. "There's no time to rest during a game," he said. "At Lille, there were five or 10 minutes when it was calm, when the teams were just knocking the ball around. Here, you're all out for 90 minutes. You mustn't slack off. Otherwise you concede a goal. That's the biggest difference, along with the fans. They're really into their soccer. It's impressive."

When it comes to contributing to Chelsea’s goals, only fellow midfielder Juan Mata, who has 18 goals and 22 assists, surpasses Hazard’s 13 goals and 17 assists in 42 appearances.  

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