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Strikes from team-mates: Eden Hazard's difficult start in Lille

Strikes from team-mates: Eden Hazard’s difficult start in Lille

All beginnings are difficult – and Eden Hazard’s at OSC Lille was particularly difficult. Because his style was not well received by his new colleagues.

The youngest player in a team has – according to the cliché – numerous tasks: he has to collect the balls after training, carry the goals and otherwise behave attentively and willing to learn and accept and implement the information and advice that the older teammates give him . However, Eden Hazard didn’t live up to that stereotype when he was promoted to the first of OSC Lille at 16. There was trouble – and even beatings from the new teammates.

In the 2007/08 season, Hazard featured in the French first-team, having previously excelled for reserves. But not in the way the rest of the team would have liked. “Hazard walked out on his first practice session with his socks pulled down, his shoelaces undone and no shin guards,” Lille’s Gregory Tafforeau recalled speaking to the Sun. “He then trained as if he were an old hand at the club. That really annoyed the older players,” he added.

That’s not all: “I heard it getting louder in the gym afterwards – and then there was a loud bang,” said Tafforeau. “I went in and saw Eden holding his cheek. Franck Beria, one of our stars at the time, was furious,” he added.

According to Tafforeau, Hazard had just met Beria in town and had made fun of the experienced kicker in front of everyone present. He was then punished for his behavior in the gym.

“The Boy Cried”

Some youth players become respected first-team kickers in one fell swoop. Eden Hazard needed two shots.