Eden Hazard told The Independent about his ‘special relationship’ with Jose Mourinho and what he likes best about the Portuguese manager.
Talking to the Independent before the League Cup final on Sunday, the Belgium international praised Mourinho for his direct approach and the fact he allows his players, notably himself, to play with freedom.
‘’It’s true we do have a special relationship,’’ said Hazard. ‘’What is good about him as a coach is that he lets us play. He lefts me play. He is not always on at me and I really appreciate that.
‘’If it isn’t good he says so, if it is good he says so. He is always direct. But I don’t think he has changed me. I am who I am. He has always taught me to get the best out of myself.’’
The 24-year-old is widely regarded as the best attacking midfielder in the Premier League at the minute, despite stiff competition from the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Angel di Maria and Christian Eriksen.
Mourinho's decision to allow Hazard free rein to play with freedom must have been one of the easiest of his managerial career so far, due to the player's natural ability and work-rate.
This season, the Blues number 10 has nine goals and six assists from 26 appearances but has proved that his most threatening attribute is his willingness to run at players and attempt to take them on. In fact, on average Hazard makes 4.6 successful dribbles a match, more than any other player in the Premier League.
On Sunday, the playmaker will get the chance to win just his second trophy for Chelsea since his high profile move from Lille in 2012. The explosive attacker will be placed under the microscope of fans and critics as he will be cited as the potential key in unlocking Mourinho’s first trophy at the club since his return.