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Jan 23, 2014

Thorgan Hazard stays at Zulte-Waregem

Chelsea loanee Thorgan Hazard has confirmed he will stay at Zulte-Waregem until the end of the season after being voted the best player in Belgium.

Thorgan Hazard claimed the Golden Shoe award for the best player in Belgium on Wednesday.
Thorgan Hazard claimed the Golden Shoe award for the best player in Belgium on Wednesday.

Hazard, the younger brother of Blues star Eden, has been on loan at Zulte-Waregem since August 2012 but had requested that he be allowed to terminate his contract there so that he could play for fellow Belgian side Anderlecht until the end of the campaign.

Only four days ago, Hazard’s agent claimed that his charge was on his way to Brussels, but Zulte-Waregem insisted that was not the case and Anderlecht executive Herman Van Holsbeek said on Wednesday night: “We are prepared to fight for Thorgan until Jan. 31, but looking at the way things are developing right now, it is getting less certain that we will pull this off.”

On Thursday, Zulte-Waregem confirmed he was staying put and Hazard told a news conference: “I have decided to stay. I felt like going to Anderlecht but the clubs haven't managed an agreement.

“I wanted the soap opera to stop. I wasn't at training yesterday because I was sick of the commotion about myself. I talked to my family and they also felt it was better to stay at Zulte-Waregem.”

The news came after the 20-year-old had won the 60th edition of Belgium’s Golden Shoe -- or Gouden Schoen -- which is the highest individual accolade in the country.

With 372 points, Hazard -- a stylish midfielder whose game combines flair, vision and technique -- was well ahead of the runner-up for the award, Club Brugge’s Maxime Lestienne, with 154 points, and third-placed Silvio Proto, of Anderlecht, with 121.

Eden Hazard congratulated his brother on Twitter, joking: “Well done, little Thorgan! Your last name was already beautiful and now your first name will be as well.”

On the list of winners, Hazard joins Belgium greats such as Rik Coppens, Paul Van Himst, Enzo Scifo, Jean-Marie Pfaff and Vincent Kompany.

Thorgan Hazard also claimed the best young player award, while another Chelsea loanee, Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, was named the best Belgian player abroad.

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