EDEN HAZARD’S former teammate has revealed he BEAT UP the Chelsea idol in the dressing-room – for showing disrespect.
The 26-year-old is in contention to win his second Footballer of the Year crown next month, having already scooped the prize in 2015.
But Hazard’s former Lille clubmate Nicolas Plestan has told French TV how he gave the youngster a slap for being cheeky after he broke into the Ligue 1 club’s first team.
Plestan is astonishingly the SECOND Lille player to have struck the Blues hero, with club veteran Gregory Tafforeau recently revealing that fellow defender Franck Beria lashed out at Hazard as well.
Plestan, 35, recalled: “Eden Hazard was training with both our senior squad and the Under-21s. He used to criticise us when he dropped down into the junior side.
“One morning he turned up and shook my hand. I told him: ‘Why are you shaking my hand when you slag me off behind my back?’
“He just sucked his teeth by way of reply, so I gave him a slap.
“I am not proud of it, but I don’t regret doing it. It is part of dressing-room life, and there was a lack of dressing-room spirit on his part.
“He had previously had an altercation with another teammate.
“But he went on to be a hard worker. Apart from these concerns about his behaviour, which you could put down to his age, Hazard was a good lad who I admired a lot.”
Ex-defender Tafforeau told last month how Hazard enraged Lille’s players with his attitude when he broke into their first team aged 16.
Tafforeau, 40, said: “Hazard turned up for his first Lille training session with his socks rolled down, his laces undone and without shinpads.
“As for his standard, he trained as though he was a club veteran. That annoyed the senior players.
“Soon afterwards I could hear voices being raised in the fitness room, and I heard a loud whack.
“I went in and saw Eden holding his cheek. Franck Beria, one of our star players, was there and his eyes were bloodshot with rage.
“It turned out Eden had bumped into Franck in the city centre, and taken the mickey out of him in front of everyone.
“Two days later he got another good slap from Nicolas Plestan. The lad was in tears.
“From then on we noticed a change in his attitude.”