Chelsea star Eden Hazard has seen off the challenge of Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku to be named the Belgian FA (KBVB)’s “Devil of the Year.”
Hazard came out on top in an Internet poll organised by his country’s national federation, earning 10,280 votes to succeed Dries Mertens as the Belgian national team’s top man.
That put him well ahead of De Bruyne, who polled 4,710 votes, with Lukaku third on 3,223.
Hazard wins despite suffering an ankle fracture on international duty last season, which meant he played just half of Belgium’s 10 fixtures in 2017, scoring four times and providing two assists.
#DeviloftheYear = Eden ! 👏🇧🇪😊
— BelgianRedDevils (@BelRedDevils) January 2, 2018
Hazard’s Chelsea teammates Michy Batshuayi and Thibaut Courtois were also in the running for the award along with Lukaku’s United teammate Marouane Fellaini, Napoli’s Dries Mertens, Crystal Palace forward Christian Benteke, Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen and West Bromwich Albion’s Nacer Chadli.
The feat could be a surprising one for Hazard, as particularly Hazard had been in stellar form for club and country, leading Manchester City to an unassailable lead in the Premier League title chase this season. His form however in the first half of the year, was not at the very top, making it easier for his compatriot at Chelsea to win the award, voted for by fans.
Hazard’s considerable contribution to Chelsea title win in May and Belgium’s qualification to the 2018 World Cup helped him stretch the gap on second placed De Bruyne by 5,570 votes after receiving 10,280 votes while third placed Lukaku picked up only 3,223 votes.