After Eden Hazard decided to sign for Chelsea ahead of Manchester United and Arsenal, he still had one game left to play for his erstwhile club Lillie.
According to his then-teammate Rio Mavuba, the Belgian was keen to celebrate his move to the Premier League and decided on a night out with Joe Cole, Dmitri Payet and Mathieu Debuchy. The revelling went on late into the night and Mavuba said that the Belgian was still drunk when he took the pitch:
It was Hazard’s last game for Lille and he wanted to organize a send-off. He didn’t sleep that night and was drinking all the way through, but he scored a hat-trick in half an hour. We all looked at him and thought he was a pretty special guy.
Before you go on questioning Hazard’s professionalism, it would be good to apprise you of the fact that Lille had nothing to play for in their final match of the 2011-12 season. The French side could not improve on their third-placed finish whatever the result against their opposition Nancy. In any case, Lille still won 4-1 courtesy of Hazard’s hat-trick.