Euro 2016: Eden Hazard returns to Lille, where he played as a teenager
A Euro 2016 quarter-final against Wales just across the border in Lille will almost feel like a home game for Belgium and a homecoming for captain Eden Hazard
Lille (France): A Euro 2016 quarter-final against Wales just across the border in Lille will almost feel like a home game for Belgium and a homecoming for captain Eden Hazard.
The 25-year-old was Belgium's man-of-the-match in their 4-0 demolition of Hungary in the last 16, scoring one superb goal and setting up another.
For Hazard, it will be a return to the city, where his career as a player took off. Hazard, from the small town of Braine-le-Comte in the French-speaking Wallonia region of Belgium, joined the Lille academy an hour's drive away as a 14-year-old in 2005 and has never looked back.
"It's not easy to leave your family, your parents, and go to another country, even if it was France so it wasn't far from home," Hazard said in an interview with beIN Sports.
"It is where, you could say, I learnt about life because I arrived when I was 14. It is where I was taught to respect others and it is where I played my first match.
Hazard made his Lille senior debut as a 16-year-old in November 2007.