Eden Hazard’s final match before joining Chelsea left him worse for wear in more ways than one.
The Belgian joined Stamford Bridge in a £32 million deal from Lille in June 2012 after Chelsea fended off competition from Manchester United, Arsenal and Real Madrid.
Hazard was aware that Lille’s final game of the campaign against Nancy was going to be his last for the French club before his summer transfer.
And the midfielder was given a standing ovation from the Lille supporters and coaching staff as he was substituted in the 89th minute.
But Hazard’s preparation for his final game was drastically different to how he would usually approach matches.
Speaking on Le Vestiaire, Hazard’s former team-mate at Lille, Rio Mavuba, revealed how the squad had a night out on the town before the fixture, safe in the knowledge that they would finish third in Ligue 1, regardless of the result against Nancy.
‘The night before games we usually did nothing, but were were certain to finish third,’ explained Mavuba.
‘We were playing against Nancy the next day, and it was Hazard’s last game, so he prepared something small.
‘In the morning the coach [Rudi Garcia] went in Hazard’s room and he hasn’t been sleeping.’
But amazingly, Hazard signed off in style with a stunning performance and a hat-trick within 34 minutes during the first half.