Belgium are currently enjoying what is being dubbed as their “Golden Generation” and with so much talent, especially in attack, it’s difficult to pick one man to lead the way at Euro 2016.
Eden Hazard, the 2014-15 Premier League Player of the Year, struggled mightily to rediscover his form last season and he managed just four league goals, with all of them coming in the final month of the campaign. After his form seemed to return in April, he looked back to his best and with the Euros approaching, Hazard is back on track to be Belgium’s main man.
The key to a successful summer
With Vincent Kompany injured for the tournament this summer, Eden Hazard is the Belgium captain as they aim to win their first ever European Championship. The Chelsea star will be the youngest Belgian to ever captain a side in a major tournament and with such a big role to play besides the captaincy, the stage is set for Hazard to shine.
Kevin De Bruyne’s stellar form since the World Cup has earned plenty of praise and even some suggestion that he is now Belgium’s most important player. While his form is key for Belgium’s success, Hazard’s form and leadership will likely be the difference for Marc Wilmots’ team.
The Chelsea winger is one of the best in the world when he’s at the top of his game and after failing to make an impact during the 2014 World Cup, he’ll be aiming to dominate on the world stage finally. With 12 goals in 62 caps for his country, an uptake in Hazard’s goal tally would not only propel him but also his country through the tournament.
Hazard’s ability to draw multiple defenders to him when he has the ball at his feet will be needed as teams sit deep and defend against Belgium’s impressive attack. After regaining form recently, the 25-year-old looks to have his pace back - which will be crucial in taking defenders on, something he has been lauded for in his time in England. As we've seen time and time again in the past, Hazard can change a game in an instant but is this his time to do it on the world stage, for his country?
Captains usually lead the way and Hazard can’t afford to let his form drop heading into such a pivotal tournament for his country. His form holds the key to Belgium’s success this summer and with Belgium ranked number two in the world, there is plenty of pressure on Wilmots’ side to deliver this summer, especially with the golden generation tag attached to them.