Chelsea forward Eden Hazard has won a prestigious Belgian honour following his wonderful form throughout 2017.
Hazard has been awarded the trophy for ‘Best Belgian footballer playing abroad in 2017’ after being chosen as the winner by a selection of Belgian journalists, football figures and former winners.
The 27-year-old was announced as the winner earlier this evening at the Gala of the Golden Boot, the awards ceremony which crowns the best Belgian footballers of the previous year, after being presented with the award at Stamford Bridge by compatriot Thibaut Courtois.
Courtois, a past winner of the award himself, arrived at the stadium to surprise his team-mate, who was outstanding in the second half of last season, with his goals and performances a key factor in our Premier League title triumph.
As 2017 drew to a close, and after coming back from a serious injury, he was back to his best and scored eight times between mid-October and the end of the year.
Hazard, who won the Chelsea Player of the Year award last season, was delighted to receive the honour.
‘It’s my first trophy in Belgium, but hopefully not my last!’ he said. ‘I’m aiming to win the World Cup or the European Championships with Belgium.
‘I’m happy with the trophy, but it’s not the most important thing. Football is a collective sport. I would like to thank all my team-mates at Chelsea and the national team, the managers and also those who’ve helped me in the last year.’
Also in attendance as the Chelsea man received his award was 10-year-old Antoine Gailly (pictured below), who hails from Hazard’s hometown of Braine-Le-Comte and currently plays for local side Stade Braine, Hazard’s first club.
Antoine was chosen to fly over and meet his idol due to Hazard’s connection with his local community and the fact the player's father is still heavily involved with Stade Braine.