Hazard sets out Ballon d’Or ambitions; revels in Conte ‘freedom’

Date published: Monday 7th November 2016 9:24

Antonio Conte: Given Hazard freedom to play his game

Eden Hazard has underlined his intentions to become one of the world’s best players after admitting his form last season meant he did not deserve to be shortlisted for the 2016 Ballon d’Or.

Hazard is back to his best for Chelsea this season with his indifferent form last season, not only costing him any chance of winning the Ballon d’Or, but also playing no small part in the club’s miserable title defence.

The Belgium playmaker netted twice on Saturday as Chelsea coasted to a 5-0 romp over Everton and the player was described as “irresistible” in our analysis after the game.

Hazard now has seven goals in 11 Premier League matches this term, having only netted four times in 2015-16.

And as he enjoys more freedom under Conte, the 25-year-old is targeting the world’s most prestigious individual award.

“Last season I was not good, so for me it was normal that I was not on the list,” Hazard said.

“But I want to come back on the list, and give everything to be on the list, not to be in the top 23 but to be in the top five.

“Yes, I want to reach that level.

“Last season was difficult for me. I tried to be the same player that I was two years ago,” he added.

“But now I am trying to play like when I was a kid. I am enjoying playing now, my position is a bit different from before, I go inside more. It gives me more freedom, and I’m good for the moment.”


Conte changes benefiting Hazard

Eden Hazard: "Fantastic without the ball," says Conte

“Conte has not change a lot, it is just that I have a little bit more freedom when we have the ball and without the ball.

“Because I don’t need to defend against the right-back, because Marcos Alonso is there. I just focus on staying in my position. And when I have the ball I have more freedom and I can go where I want to go, and be decisive.”

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