Eden Hazard retires his celebration: “My knees – they are on fire”

Eden Hazard has admitted he is going to have to stop celebrating his goals with a power knee-slide because it’s causing them too much damage.

The Belgian has been in sensational form this season, scoring six goals in seven games, but the increased return appears to be taking its toll on his body.

Fully intending to carry on scoring at the same meteoric rate, Hazard revealed that his increasingly familiar knee-slide will have to go into retirement.

‘Look, look, the celebration – the sliding knee,’ Hazard said to Chelsea TV, pointing towards his bruised legs. ‘I need to stop this.

‘My knees – they are on fire! No more of this celebration.’

Hazard’s latest strike, the winning goal against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup earlier this week, was his best yet and will surely be a contender for goal of the season come its conclusion in May.

However, his jinking run around the Liverpool defence and subsequent strike served to strengthen the case of his critics who accuse him of being too selfish in his play. Hazard was happy to give him own opinion on that controversial claim.

‘If I see that there is no solution, I go on my own,’ Hazard said. ‘So, in my mind, it is just to make the right decision.’

The 27-year-old is already emerging as an early favourite to win his second PFA Player of the Year award, but Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri insists he has not even reached his full potential yet.

Asked if the Belgian is the best in the world, Sarri said: ‘Maybe, I don’t know. I think that he is for sure one of the best. But I am absolutely convinced that he can improve.

‘If he’s able to improve during the training, maybe he will be able to use himself at 100 per cent because, I think that we have seen only 70-80 per cent of his potential. I think that if he is able to improve, he will be the best in the world.’

He added: ‘For example, he can improve with more intensity in training. I think (if he does that, he could be voted the best in the world). It’s very difficult to compare him with other players. He is a genius, I think. It’s very difficult. He’s unique.

‘It’s a very interesting challenge, I think. He has a lot to give. A lot to give to himself, to the team, to the staff. And I want everything.’

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