Hazard determined to bow out with Europa League triumph

By Sports Desk May 27, 2019

Eden Hazard is determined to end his Chelsea career by guiding the Blues to Europa League glory against Arsenal on Wednesday.

The Belgium international is widely expected to move to LaLiga giants Real Madrid during the close season in a deal that could be worth €130million.

Hazard, who earlier this month confirmed he had decided his future and informed the club, could therefore make his final appearance for Maurizio Sarri's side against Arsenal in Baku.

And the 28-year-old has every intention of bowing out in style, telling reporters: "When you play a final it does not matter whether it is the Champions League, Europa League or EFL Cup; you just want to win.

"It is a European competition so for me, for the club, for the manager, for the fans, it is something important.

"If it is my last game, I hope to bring the trophy. My first trophy at Chelsea was the Europa League, so it would be a nice last trophy.

"The way that we are playing, we have improved in the past two months and, even though we've had some injuries and bad news, we are strong mentally.

"If we go to Baku with a strong approach to the game we can do something good there."

Hazard would not be drawn on whether a move to Madrid is close, stating he would only talk about his future once a deal is struck.

"At the moment, nothing has happened, so I can't say anything," he explained. "It's in the hands of the clubs, but I can put it aside. I have done it during a full season right now, and I have played reasonably well.

"So, I stay in that mode; just thinking about football. After the final, we will see what happens."

Asked if he would ever play for another English club, Hazard – who arrived from Lille in 2012 – responded emphatically: "No chance, no chance. I am a Blue! It means a lot to me. I cannot play for another club in this country."

Related items

  • Vieri: Sarri's Juventus are fit to win everything Vieri: Sarri's Juventus are fit to win everything

    Christian Vieri believes everything is in place for new Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri to deliver success on all fronts.

    Massimiliano Allegri departed at the end of last season after again failing to win the Champions League.

    Former Napoli boss Sarri has arrived as Allegri's successor, with Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey joining his squad on free transfers.

    Juve have also paid an initial €75million to buy Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt, whose arrival addresses the loss of Andrea Barzagli to retirement.

    Serie A looks set to be fascinating next term with Inter appointing Antonio Conte and both AC Milan and Roma also under new leadership.

    But former Italy striker Vieri, who played for Juventus in the 1996-1997 season, expects the Bianconceri's dominance to continue.

    "Juventus are already solid and have already signed De Ligt, Ramsey and Rabiot. They boast 20 other super players," Vieri told Omnisport at the Riccione event for this year's Bobo Summer Cup.

    "They have Cristiano Ronaldo, so what are we talking about? They even signed [Gianluigi] Buffon as a reserve and for me he is still the best in the world - and Juventus signed him as a sub.

    "Anything can happen, yes, but [Maurizio] Sarri will manage an already complete squad that's already fit to win everything. How many years in a row have they won in Italy, eight or seven? Eight!

    "They signed other world-class players making a statement that goes like this: 'For the next five years we want to win everything.'"

    De Ligt scored the goal that knocked Juventus out of the Champions League last term, but in 2019-20 he will be lining up for Sarri's side.

    "He's big and young. He has a great future ahead of him," Vieri added. "Juventus have done well to sign someone born in 1999 who can be the best defender for the next 10 to 15 years.

    "They paid him a lot, but they've proved they're ahead of the game. [Giorgio] Chiellini and [Leonardo] Bonucci can't play forever, so they already have a substitute, which is very important.

    "He will struggle a bit to adapt, but that's normal. He's young, he's got time, we need to be patient."

  • Sarri tells Juventus players to adapt to game-changer Ronaldo Sarri tells Juventus players to adapt to game-changer Ronaldo

    Maurizio Sarri has told his Juventus squad they must adapt to Cristiano Ronaldo's game after hailing him as the "player who makes the difference".

    The Portugal international plundered 28 goals in his debut campaign for the Bianconeri following his move from Real Madrid, guiding them to an eighth successive Serie A title.

    He picked up where he left off in Juve's first pre-season game ahead of the 2019-20 season on Sunday, scoring a typically clinical goal in his side's 3-2 International Champions Cup (ICC) defeat to Tottenham.

    Speaking ahead of an ICC clash against Italian rivals Inter on Wednesday, head coach Sarri made it clear Ronaldo will be the focal point of his side in the forthcoming campaign.

    "He will be the player who will make the difference for us so the other 10 will have to adapt to him," Sarri told a media conference.

    "During this tour he will play mostly as a left offensive striker, knowing very well he likes to move more central next to the other striker.

    "As a team we have to be quick to adapt to his movements since he is capable of making the difference and he will do it for sure. In the first game, he scored and had a further couple of chances."

    The defeat to Tottenham also saw the debut of Matthijs de Ligt, the new signing from Ajax who arrived last week for an initial fee of €75million.

    Sarri described the 19-year-old as a "phenomenal prospect" but would not be drawn on whether he will command an immediate place in his preferred starting XI.

    "De Ligt is a phenomenal prospect," Sarri said. "He is a 19-year-old kid who has already been captain in an important club like Ajax so he is an important prospect.

    "I don’t know whether he will stay on the bench or not. If not, on the bench there will be other important defenders like [Leonardo] Bonucci, [Giorgio] Chiellini and [Daniele] Rugani."

  • Newcastle splash out on striker Joelinton for Bruce's first signing Newcastle splash out on striker Joelinton for Bruce's first signing

    Newcastle United have smashed their club transfer record to bring in striker Joelinton from Hoffenheim, boosting Steve Bruce's short-staffed front line.

    The Brazilian forward has signed a six-year deal at St James' Park and is said to have cost in the region of £40million (€44.6m).

    The transfer surpasses the £20.5m Newcastle spent to secure Miguel Almiron earlier this year, that fee having finally topped their long-standing record figure of £16.5m, paid for Michael Owen in 2005.

    Joelinton, 22, scored 11 goals in all competitions for Hoffenheim last term, starring after spending the previous two years out on loan at Rapid Vienna.

    "I’m really happy to be here," he told Newcastle's official website. "I know it's a large investment that the club has made in me and that comes with a huge responsibility.

    "I'm highly motivated and hope to give back on the pitch."

    Bruce, confirmed as Newcastle's new head coach last week, had earlier told the club's official website they were "working on" bringing in attacking players.

    "The kid’s got an exciting time ahead of him. He’s a smashing young player and we're obviously delighted to get him," Bruce said.

    "It's been going on for a little bit now, so to get him is great for everybody.

    "He's got everything that a modern-day player wants. He's big, strong and athletic, and of course he’s got age on his side too which is vitally important."

    Since the end of last season, the Magpies have seen Salomon Rondon go to Dalian Yifang after a productive spell on loan from West Brom, top scorer Ayoze Perez join Leicester City and fringe striker Joselu return to Spain with Deportivo Alaves.

    With Dwight Gayle out injured, Yoshinori Muto and teenager Elias Sorensen shared striking duties during last week's opening pre-season defeat to Wolves in the Premier League Asia Trophy.

    Muto then scored the only goal of the game against West Ham in Bruce's first win on Saturday.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.