Eden Hazard credits Joe Cole as the man who convinced him to join Chelsea from Lille in 2012

The Belgian was the most coveted young player in Europe when he decided to move to Stamford Bridge in a £32 million deal

Tuesday 13 November 2018 15:11
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Eden Hazard has revealed that Joe Cole was the man who convinced him to sign with Chelsea ahead of numerous other European clubs in the summer of 2012.

Cole announced his retirement from professional football on Tuesday, bringing to an end an illustrious 20-year career that yielded every domestic honour at Chelsea as well as spells at West Ham, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Coventry City and Tampa Bay Rowdies.

During his troubled stint at Liverpool, Cole was sent on loan to French club Lille, where he played alongside an emerging Hazard who was attracting interest from all over Europe.

Hazard flirted with virtually every top club before eventually joining Chelsea in a £32 million deal shortly after their dramatic Champions League triumph, and the Belgian marked Cole’s retirement by elaborating on the role the former England international played in getting him to Stamford Bridge.

Cole played with Hazard during the Belgian's final season at Lille

“I spoke to him before I signed for Chelsea,” Hazard said in comments posted on Chelsea’s official Twitter account as a tribute to Cole.

“Every day, seriously, he was telling me that Chelsea was the best club for me. He said Chelsea was a big club where you can win trophies every season.

“For that reason I signed, so thank you, Joe Cole!”

Hazard has gone on to establish himself as one of the world’s best players at Chelsea, winning two Premier League titles, the Europa League, the FA Cup and EFL Cup.

Cole played 716 matches during his professional career, scoring 104 goals, and was capped 56 times for England – most notably scoring a spectacular volley against Sweden at the 2006 World Cup.

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