Football has seen plenty of brothers make it in the game, either at the same club or at different ones, but rarely has one family been as involved as the Hazards. While Real Madrid’s Eden might have had the most prestigious careers of all, his brothers, Thorgan of Borussia Dortmund, Kylian of Cercle Brugge, and Ethan of Royal Stade Brainois, are doing quite well themselves. Additionally, their parents, Thierry and Carine, both had careers in the game.
Their father played at a semi-professional level as a defensive midfielder in Belgium before working towards getting a license to become his children’s agent. Their mother was a forward and scored goals at free will in Belgium before hanging up her boots after she became pregnant with Eden.
In this family of football, it is the two oldest children that have shone brightest. The younger two, Kylian and Ethan, are still quite young, but they can take inspiration from Eden and Thorgan, who have had stellar careers at some of the biggest clubs in Europe.
Being the oldest, Eden Hazard’s career started first as he left his native Belgium to move to France, where Lille were keen on his talents. After initial difficulty adjusting to life and concerns about his apparent lack of enthusiasm, a teenage Eden kicked on and became one of the club’s best players. He made his senior debut in 2007, as manager Claude Puel gave the 18-year-old a chance. From there he never looked back, becoming a star for the club as Lille became the best in France at the turn of the decade.
In a team of emerging names like Gervinho, Mathieu Debuchy and Yohan Cabaye, Eden was the poster-boy, and in 2011 he led the team to a league and cup double, along with claiming the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award for his impressive displays. While all that was happening, Thorgan, two years younger than Eden, was developing. Both brothers were helped immensely by their parents, coaching them from the time they were children and providing moral support.
Their father Thierry believed that Eden was gifted, but Thorgan wasn’t too far behind: “Technically, Eden is the best but in terms of effort, Thorgan is ahead,” he told Der Spiegel in 2015. Eden’s move to Chelsea in 2012 saw Thorgan join the Blues as well, signing from Zulte Waregem as an 18-year-old. He would, however, spend two years on loan at Zulte, even winning the Belgian Player of the Year award in 2014, before moving to London.
However, his spell there wasn’t as fruitful as his older brother’s. Eden continued his impressive form, creating an impressive attacking line alongside Juan Mata and Oscar, but they weren’t able to win any trophies.
When José Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge in 2013, Eden’s place in the first team was immovable. Thorgan, however, was struggling to fit in Mourinho’s plans. The teenager attempted to force a move to Anderlecht in the aim of getting more playing time, but nothing materialised. Continue
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