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May 30, 2012

Hazard hails Gervinho

Chelsea-bound Eden Hazard has revealed that the best player he has played alongside is Arsenal forward Gervinho.

• Hazard: I'm joining Chelsea

Hazard, 21, confirmed this week that he will be joining Chelsea from Lille in the summer following reported interest from the likes of Manchester United and City.

The Belgium international played alongside Gervinho at Lille, winning the league and cup double in 2011, before the latter signed for Arsenal last summer for a fee in the region of £10 million.

Ivorian winger Gervinho had a mixed debut season in England, but Hazard rates his former team-mate among the best after admitting he looks to others for inspiration.

He is quoted as saying in the Sun: "I watched videos of great players. I was inspired by what they did, then I used to try things out in training.

"When I was small I was the same as everyone else. I used to play in a small council estate nearby.

"But it's really my family who taught me. I started watching my dad play from the age of two. I wanted to be like him.

"The first pitch I played on, for my first club Braine-le-Comte, was only a metre from our house! I progressed very quickly. Now, I want to be European Footballer of the Year. Sometimes when I lie in bed I think about it.

"A lot of players watch videos of others. I'm not scared to say I watch videos of Messi and Ronaldo, I try and inspire myself from them.

"Great players inspire you. The best player I played with was Gervi (Gervinho).

"We didn't have the same qualities, but we both tried to make the difference. He taught me some things. He makes the right runs."

Hazard went on to reject suggestions he is a poor trainer, adding: "What I like best is the nutmeg. I don't go out on the pitch thinking I'm going to do it because it comes instinctively. My left foot's not quite as strong as my right.

"I said I preferred playing rather than training. People interpreted that as me not wanting to work hard. That's false. I work seriously. It's helped me get to where I am now.

"Weight training and working on being explosive helped me gain a few yards of pace. Even when I was small I was stocky. Even if people pushed me I managed to stay on my feet."

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