Eden Hazard has thrown away his Chelsea legacy – his half-time PSG shirt swap was the icing on the cake
Eden Hazard’s half-time shirt swap and non-existent performance in the 2-1 defeat by PSG in the UEFA Champions League are just the latest in a series of insults to Chelsea and its supporters.
The Belgian star failed to make an impact in the match for the umpteenth time this season as the Blues tamely bowed out of Europe’s elite club competition.
In the 77th minute, he nonchalantly gestured to the bench to be removed from the game, having limped through the previous 20 minutes of the match with a groin complaint.
As the 25-year-old exited the field for the oncoming Oscar, he was met by boos from some of the Chelsea faithful inside Stamford Bridge, and for good reason.
The fans have a right to feel betrayed, after arguably the team’s best player has seemingly given up on his future at the club.
The PFA Players’ Player of the Year award and a Premier League winner’s medal last season seemed to be the start of Hazard’s rise to legendary status at Chelsea.
But then came the start of the 2015-16 season and the demise of one of Chelsea’s favoured sons.
Jose Mourinho’s champions crumbled from the start and so did Hazard. He scored 19 times in Chelsea blue last season, but has only managed to net twice this term, neither strike in the Premier League.
It may have been possible for the fans to forgive this serious slump in form but more recent public displays of disrespect to the club will prove harder to forget.
The first offence came on the eve of Chelsea’s first-leg tie in Paris, during an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien.
He told reporters, on PSG’s interest in him, that: ‘It is difficult to say no to PSG, or to any of the teams capable of winning the Champions League.
‘PSG are now in that category. And for me, winning the Champions League is my main aim.’
This led former Manchester United Captain Roy Keane to brand the timing of comment ‘absolutely ridiculous.’
He said about Hazard: ‘If I was a team-mate of his I would kick him up and down the training pitch. He’s a talented boy, but his attitude is like a spoilt child.’
The former Lille man then went on to put in two lifeless performances in the following matches against the French league champions.
As if this was not hurtful enough for the Chelsea fans, the shirt swap with Angel di Maria before the game had even finished was just the icing on the cake.
The Belgian international clearly wants to move on in the summer. PSG and Real Madrid are circling and transfer fees of around £80m are being rumoured.
Chelsea need to cash in on their lacklustre stars and rebuild a squad – barring a few exceptions – greatly lacking in passion and loyalty.
By Jamie Pearson
This image was provided by bill k.
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