Eden Hazard summed up the excitement at Chelsea as he welcomed the appointment of José Mourinho, although the Belgium winger said he may be too "intimidated" to train when the new manager oversees his first session.
Hazard, who is preparing for his country's World Cup qualifier against Serbia in Brussels on Friday, referred to Mourinho as "special" and it was clear that the Portuguese's return to Stamford Bridge has fired his imagination.
"They already knew for a long time at Chelsea that he was going to sign and they all told me that it would be a good thing for me," Hazard said. "José Mourinho is someone special and it's a pleasure to have him as a coach.
"Maybe in the first training session I will be a bit intimidated – after all, it's José Mourinho. But he is also a man, with two arms and two legs and so, in the end, I will have a normal relationship with him, just as I have with my previous coaches."
Hazard, who joined Chelsea for £32m from Lille last summer, was shortlisted for the PFA's player of the year award after an impressive season. He scored 13 goals in all competitions for the club but he is determined to show Mourinho that he can do better.
"This season I gave a lot of assists but next season I want to score more goals … I want to score 50 or 60 like [Lionel] Messi or [Cristiano] Ronaldo," Hazard said, with a smile. "I lack that killer instinct. Messi and Ronaldo are born to score, it's in their nature but I still choose the nice dribble or the beautiful pass too often. I have to shoot more."
Hazard said he would continue to embrace the competition for places at the club, which stands to be stoked further as Mourinho casts about for new signings. "Being linked to players is normal at big clubs, and certainly at Chelsea, where everyone knows the reputation of [the owner] Roman Abramovich," Hazard said. "He buys a lot of players. At such a club you never have time to rest. You have to be 100% all of the time. But even if Chelsea bought nobody, I would still have to fight for my position."
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
image: © Ben Sutherland