Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Euro glory sealed Hazard's Blues move

Chelsea's Champions League success convinced Eden Hazard to sign

Chelsea's memorable Champions League victory over Bayern Munich convinced new signing Eden Hazard that Stamford Bridge was the right place for him to play.

The Belgium international, one of the most sought after players in Europe after some stellar shows for Lille, put an end to speculation over his future by revealing he had signed for Chelsea last week. The Blues have now officially confirmed the transfer, for a fee believed to be in the region of £32million, seeing off a roll call of European heavyweights.

Chelsea were always known to be keen on Hazard, but it was only after watching them beat Bayern on penalties in Munich last month that the 21-year-old decided they were the club for him. He told the club's official website: "I watched the Champions League Final like everybody else."

He added: "It puts a bit more pressure on the players who are already here but they're used to it, and I think I'm pretty good at coping under pressure.

"It's true that initially there were a number of clubs in for me, but when Chelsea won the Champions League I thought: `Why not?`

"It was a complicated decision with lots of different factors involved, but the fact that they have great players and are European champions, also coming to London - I know people here already and there are a few French speakers - I think I have made the right decision."

Winning the Champions League ensured Chelsea ended the season with two more trophies in their cabinet, having already seen off Liverpool to win the FA Cup.

Such success has been commonplace throughout the Roman Abramovich era but Hazard, who won Ligue 1 with Lille in 2011, knows even more can be achieved, especially if Chelsea can improve on their sixth-place finish in the Premier League.

"Chelsea had a great season even if we didn't do very well in the league," he added. "By anybody's standards winning two cups is a great achievement, so it will be a big challenge to do better.

"We're equipped to do that and all I can hope is that while I'm here we can win a lot of trophies, that's what I'm aiming for."

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