HAZARD STRIVING FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN NEW MAG
Eden Hazard has enjoyed an impressive start to his Blues career, and in the latest edition of Chelsea the Belgian talks of his willingness to develop as a player.
A nomination for the PFA Young Player of the Year award, 13 goals and a string of accomplished displays have seen Hazard's stock rise at a steady pace following his move from Lille last summer.
As anybody who has seen him in action will testify, the creative attacker simply loves playing football, something which stems from a childhood spent indulging his passion for the beautiful game at every opportunity.
'There is a resemblance between myself now and when I was boy,' he tells the magazine. 'I think everything goes back to when I was a kid, playing in the garden at the age of four or five. I always wanted to improve, to better myself.
'I would see things on TV and I would try to copy them or even improve on them. I was always juggling the ball, trying to beat my record from the day before - I must have spent 300 hours playing and practising tricks.
'Maybe, you could say there is something similar to that feeling in a match now because I always want to do better than my last performance. Even if you score two goals in a game, you can try to score three in the next.'
It would be fair to suggest Hazard is a player not lacking in the confidence department. His ability to go past players almost at will and produce a piece of magic has seen him become something of a fans' favourite already.
Hazard has also developed a penchant for spectacular goals, particularly during the second half of the campaign, with standout strikes against the likes of Sparta Prague, Manchester United and West Ham United catching the eye.
The player himself, however, believes there is a time and a place for taking risks on the field of play.
'There are times during a game where you are more likely to take risks than others,' he says. 'You might be having your best four or five minutes of the game, where everything is coming off for you, where you have just tried two or three difficult passes and made them.
'Or you have beaten one or two players with a run, so your confidence is really high and, because of that, you might be more likely to try something than you would 60 or 70 minutes into a match where nothing was working for you.
'But even in those games where things haven't been working, you still have to try those movements, try to make a difference because attacking players are there for that. In the same way midfielders are there to play good passes and goalkeepers are there to prevent goals, we have to try things.
'I know what I am capable of and I know that, in one movement, I can get past someone and create a chance, or score myself. It is about knowing what your capabilities are and being able to do those things.'
Elsewhere in the magazine, this month's Football Men sees Cesar Azpilicueta talk about those who have shaped his career thus far. The Spaniard recalls an important phone call during his time at Osasuna, while also praising a former Chelsea midfielder, as well as the man who gave him his senior international debut.
Bonetti back in town
Only Ron Harris has made more Chelsea appearances than Peter Bonetti, and the former Blues goalkeeper - affectionately known as 'The Cat' - is the subject of the latest Boys Are Back in Town feature. Bonetti recalls his time at the club with fondness and speaks about his final appearance at Stamford Bridge, the impact made on the club by the late Dave Sexton and our rivalry with Leeds United in the 1970s.
With the Europa League final looming, the magazine gets supporters in the mood with a look back at our FA Cup triumph over Middlesbrough in 1997, with contributions from the likes of Scott Minto and Dan Petrescu, as well as interesting stats and an overview of the game itself.
Red Dwarf actor a true blue
Danny John-Jules, the former Red Dwarf star and Chelsea die-hard, is the subject of the One of Us feature in the latest edition of the magazine, where he remembers standing in the Shed End as a youngster and football matches in the BBC studio, while also assessing Mickey Droy's change in career.
The latest edition of Chelsea is available now from all good newsagents and the Megastore, priced £3.25.