SportsThorgan Hazard steps out of Eden's shadow

Thorgan Hazard steps out of Eden’s shadow

Throughout his career he has almost always been called “Hazard’s brother,” in reference to Eden. But after the dry and unpredictable shot with which he beat Rui Patricio in the round of 16 of the European Championship and summoned Belgium to play the quarterfinals against Italy this Friday in Munich, Thorgan Hazard has come out of the shadow of his brother, that takes him two years. It has been a long way behind the star of the clan – both parents and two other younger brothers are also footballers – but at the end, at 28 years old, some attention rests on him, a versatile, hard-working and dangerous player.

From the beginning he has played in the same area of ​​the field as Eden, a fact that made it inevitable that he would be judged in relation to him even more. However, as he has matured, Thorgan Hazard has developed his game and today he is capable of occupying any position in the offensive midfield and with Belgium he is fulfilling as left wing. He is tactically disciplined and has a more hard-working profile than his older brother.

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It has been an important piece in Roberto Martínez’s approach so far, in charge of making quick transitions from defense to attack, stretching the opponent’s defensive back with runs towards the baseline, in addition to forming a line of five when they have had to defend a Outcome. Of Belgium’s four games in the tournament, he has played 90 minutes in each one he has played, resting only in the last group stage match against Finland, when they were already qualified.

The ownership and leadership in this European Championship – he also scored one of the goals in the comeback against Denmark in the second game – are a reward for his effort to carve out a different football path from his brother, which was not always easy. The Hazards are the children of two footballers, so it always seemed that they had their destiny in writing, although the parents, Thierry and Carine, assure that they never pressured them in that sense; Even so, they never lacked commitment to their development and spent years driving hundreds of kilometers through their children’s training sessions and games. They grew up in Belgium near the French border, but their parents felt that it would be better if they played for French clubs, with better means, and that they were not together so that they did not have to live compared on a day-to-day basis. Eden signed for the lower Lille, while Thorgan for Lens, the local rivals.

However, in the summer of 2012 the brothers’ paths crossed. Chelsea had taken over the signing of Eden, at that time one of the most promising footballers in Europe, and a month later, away from the media spotlight, they also signed Thorgan, who was then 19 years old. But while Eden won pretty much everything in London before his millionaire move to Real Madrid, Thorgan never played for the blues. First he spent two years on loan at Zulte Waregem in the Belgian league – in the second of which he won the award for best Belgian player of the year – and after a season on loan at Borussia Mönchengladbach, he signed permanently for the German team.

It is in the Bundesliga that he has become a professional. After five seasons as a starter at Mönchengladbach, he signed for Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2019. There, with the number 10 on his back, he has not taken many starters as he is in the same team as Erling Haaland, but he has finished to be polished. As demanded by German football, and Dortmund in particular, Thorgan Hazard presses and is able to recover balls in the opposite field. But he is also looking for the bottom line or, as he did against Portugal last Sunday, is emerging from the left wing to finish from outside or filter a pass from behind the defense. This summer, after a season affected by injuries, he has exploded under the command of Roberto Martínez and, while he celebrated shoulder to shoulder with Eden in Seville, he stopped being “the brother of”, to take a step forward.

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