Eden Hazard continued to prepare for his Chelsea comeback against Leicester yesterday – and his brother Kylian also trained with the first team.
The Chelsea hero featured for Belgium over the international break and will be hoping to return to the Blues line-up on Saturday.
Kylian Hazard will play in the development squad but was called up to train with the first team this week.
Earlier, Eden Hazard was delighted to have returned to competitive football with a goal as Belgium thrashed Gibraltar 9-0 in Thursday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier.
Hazard had not played a competitive game since breaking an ankle while on international duty in June but was given the captain’s armband and played all but the last 13 minutes of his nation’s huge win in Liege before being replaced by his younger brother, Thorgan.
Coach Roberto Martinez now faces a dilemma whether or not to include the Chelsea star in his lineup for Sunday’s game in Greece, where victory would see Belgium clinch a place in next summer’s finals in Russia.
“I’m happy to have returned to the pitch for a competitive game,” Hazard told RTBF. “I was a little worried during the first five minutes, but I felt good after that. I’m happy.
“I think I’m ready to play Greece, but they’re certainly going to kick me, so it’s not ideal. The coach will decide. I just want to play football.”
Belgium matched their biggest ever winning margin, having previously beaten Zambia 9-0 in 1994 and San Marino 10-1 in 2001.
“The whole squad was focused on this game, right to the end,” Hazard added. “We wanted to beat the record score — we said that at half-time — but we couldn’t do it unfortunately.
“We know it’ll be difficult against Greece, but we’re going there to win. The supporters made a lot of noise, we played in a legendary stadium. It’s for the fans that we play and now everyone is happy.”
Hazard’s comeback was a significant sub-plot on an evening where the surprise star of the show was right-back Thomas Meunier.
The Paris Saint-Germain man played as a forward earlier in his career, and he showed he has not lost his touch in front of goal as he grabbed a hat trick and a trio of assists.
Meunier joked he could join the PSG frontline — which now includes Kylian Mbappe as well as Edinson Cavani and Neymar — but did express a more serious hope that the performance might advance his claims to start ahead of Dani Alves at right-back.
“He knows I can play as a No. 9, and he can put me there if he likes,” Meunier joked.
“I think [PSG coach Unai Emery] will have seen my performance, but I’m not going to start telling myself I have to play well to earn a place with PSG, otherwise it’s not going to go well.”
More Breaking News:
Chelsea moved to sign the brother of their superstar late on in the transfer window.
And while the 22-year-old is not expected to have a direct impact on the first team, and has actually been signed for the development squad, he may help influence Eden’s future.
Eden Hazard is on Real Madrid’s radar, with Zinedine Zidane a big fan, and Florentino Perez already eyeing moves for next summer after failing to land a galactico this summer.
Hazard was out injured through most of the summer after hurting his ankle on international duty.
He may have been considered by Real this summer after they failed to sign Kylian Mbappe from PSG.
And there is a feeling that Karim Benzema has one year left at Real, Gareth Bale needs a big season and Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t have too long left.
Hazard will be among those considered next summer, along with Antoine Griezmann and Paulo Dybala.
But Chelsea’s move to sign his bother could convince him to stay at Stamford Bridge longer-term, according to the Telegraph.
Hazard last signed a contract at Chelsea in 2015 – for five and a half years – but will be due one in the coming months.
The Belgium star was in stunning form last season as Chelsea romped to the title and with Diego Costa’s future likely to be away from the club he will be a big part of Antonio Conte’s hopes this term.