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Hazard wins player of the year award

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Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard’s impressive season was
recognised by his peers when he won England’s
Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year
award on Sunday.
The 24-year-old Belgian playmaker has scored 18 goals in
all competitions so far this term, helping Chelsea win the
English League Cup and leaving Jose Mourinho’s side
poised to bring the Premier League trophy back to Stamford
Bridge for the first time since 2010.
Victory in their next two matches – away to Leicester on
Wednesday and at home to Crystal Palace next weekend –
will see Chelsea, currently 10 points clear of nearest
pursuers Arsenal and Manchester City, crowned champions
of England.
Hazard, speaking at an awards ceremony at the Grosvenor
House hotel that took place hours after Chelsea’s goalless
draw with Arsenal across London at the Emirates Stadium,
said: “I’m very happy. One day I want to be the best and
what I did this season is play very well, Chelsea played very
well.
“I don’t know if I deserve to win but it is good for me.”
He added: “It is good, it is better to be voted by the players
– they know everything about football. This is good. I’m
very happy.”
Last season saw Hazard win the PFA’s Young Player of the
Year prize but he preferred to focus on Chelsea’s progress
as a team rather than his own performances.
“We are almost champions, maybe this is the key,” said
Hazard. “Last season we finished third and this season we
have an opportunity to win the league. This has changed
from last season.”
Hazard thanked Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho for giving
him a relatively free hand on the field.
‘HUMBLE STAR’
“Jose lets me play, we talk sometimes together and when
I’m on the pitch I know what I have to do, this is most
important,” he said.
Mourinho has long said Hazard’s talent is rivalled in current
world football only by the enduring brilliance of Cristiano
Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
And last week, after Hazard scored Chelsea’s winner
against United, the Portuguese manager said of Hazard: “I
had lots of stars, but he is the humble star.
“He knows that he is one of the three best players in the
world, the responsibility that comes (with that) and he is
coping with that responsibility.”
Mourinho added: “He understands that his talent is
fundamental for the team.”
Earlier on Sunday, Hazard was named in the PFA Premier
League team of the year for the third time in three seasons
in England.
He was one of six Chelsea players in the XI, a reflection of
the Blues’ fine form, along with club captain John Terry,
Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic, Nemanja Matic and Diego
Costa.
Meanwhile Harry Kane won the PFA Young Player of the
Year award for 2014/15 after a stunning breakthrough
campaign with Tottenham Hotspur, the club he has
supported since boyhood.
The 21-year-old forward has scored 30 goals so far this
season, a figure all the more remarkable given he did not
command a regular starting spot until November.
Kane also helped Spurs reach the League Cup final, where
they were beaten by Chelsea and, in storybook fashion,
scored just 79 seconds into his England debut after coming
on a substitute in a 4-0 European Championship qualifying
win over Lithuania at Wembley last month.
PFA PLAYERS OF THE YEAR:
2015 – Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
2014 – Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
2013 – Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)
2012 – Robin van Persie (Arsenal)
2011 – Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)
2010 – Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
2009 – Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)
2008 – Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
2007 – Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
2006 – Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
2005 – John Terry (Chelsea)
2004 – Thierry Henry (Arsenal)
2003 – Thierry Henry (Arsenal)
2002 – Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United)
2001 – Teddy Sheringham (Manchester United)
2000 – Roy Keane (Manchester United)
1999 – David Ginola (Tottenham Hotspur)
1998 – Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal)
1997 – Alan Shearer (Newcastle United)
1996 – Les Ferdinand (Newcastle United)
1995 – Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers)
1994 – Eric Cantona (Manchester United)
1993 – Paul McGrath (Aston Villa)
1992 – Gary Pallister (Manchester United)
1991 – Mark Hughes (Manchester United)
1990 – David Platt (Aston Villa)
1989 – Mark Hughes (Manchester United)
1988 – John Barnes (Liverpool)
1987 – Clive Allen (Tottenham Hotspur)
1986 – Gary Lineker (Everton)
1985 – Peter Reid (Everton)
1984 – Ian Rush (Liverpool)
1983 – Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool)
1982 – Kevin Keegan (Southampton)
1981 – John Wark (Ipswich Town)
1980 – Terry McDermott (Liverpool)
1979 – Liam Brady (Arsenal)
1978 – Peter Shilton (Nottingham Forest)
1977 – Andy Gray (Aston Villa)
1976 – Pat Jennings (Tottenham Hotspur)
1975 – Colin Todd (Derby County)
1974 – Norman Hunter (Leeds United)

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