Eden Hazard affection towards the Blues squad must have grown due to his involvement in the guard of honor for departing hero John Terry on a day of celebration.
Terry came in as a substitute 26 minute into the game against Sunderland on Sunday and the players, fans and manager all joined effort to give their captain, leader and legend a memorable last appearance at Stamford Bridge.
Appearing in 717 games, and racking up 67 goals 15 major honours and five league titles, Terry will leave the club as the greatest captain in the history of Chelsea and Hazard earned the respect due to a club legend in west London.
As Terry draws the curtain on his time at Chelsea, there is nothing stopping Hazard from becoming the next legend. He is Chelsea’s galactico and although he may never measure up to Terry, his style of play can help him achieve an iconic status at the club.
Fans and supporters held an event to show their adoration of Terry as the defender’s send-off took prominence over their 5-1 defeat of Sunderland on the last day of the season.
Hazard himself took part in paying reverence to Terry on Sunday.
“He’s been a fantastic leader and captain,” said the Belgian. “He’s given a lot to the young players and it was a huge honour to play with him for five years.”
With the summer now drawing nearer, transfer rumours will abound, with Real Madrid having said to be interested in Hazard’s signature.
Madrid took home the La Liga Trophy on Sunday, still expectant of a Champions League win as well, but Chelsea are certified the best team in England and are set to take up the European challenge next season. If Hazard secures a move to Madrid, he may end up sliding into obscurity at the Santiago Bernabeu where Cristiano Ronaldo reigns.
In reality, the gap between Chelsea and the rest of the contenders is quite wide. Antonio Conte’s side claimed the title glory with two games left to play and leads the closest contender Tottenham by seven points, while setting a new record of 30 wins in the Premier League in a season.
The chances of a summer move looks slim as Hazard aims to be Chelsea’s first Ballon d’Or winner, which would sum up to be an exceptional season for his club and country.
N’Golo Kante may be taking the individual awards all for himself for the season but Hazard is the one that flames up the curiosity of the fans and draw them nearer to the Bridge as the club’s most marketable player.
Conte is yet to win the Champions League as a manager and Hazard moved to Chelsea few weeks after the club won the tournament in 2012. The duo together can lead Chelsea to claim the trophy as Terry’s exit from the club opens a new way of doing things.
If Hazard dedicates all his effort to Chelsea, he can develop into the next legend at Stamford Bridge.