Eden Hazard has been named the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League Player of the Season, ahead of current Real Madrid teammate Luka Jović, and former Chelsea teammate Olivier Giroud. The Belgian led Chelsea to the title last season under Maurizio Sarri, and was the Man of the Match in the final, scoring a brace and also providing an assist as the Blues trashed Arsenal 4-1 in Baku, before sealing his move to Real Madrid.
Eden Hazard was announced as the winner at the Europa League group stage draw, which was held at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, but he was unable to attend the ceremony as he is focusing on his recovery in Madrid, to be able to make his competitive debut after the international break.
“Thank you very much for this prize, it’s an honour for me, and I want to wish all the players who will play in the Europa League this season a lot of luck.” The Belgian said in a video message, after collecting the third edition of the award.
The 28-year-old played a total amount of 8 games for Chelsea in the competition, scoring 2 goals and registering 2 assists in the process, but it was his performances, rather than his stats that made him deserve the award.
Although new Real Madrid striker Luka Jović just lost out to Hazard for the individual award, he also enjoyed a stellar campaign at Eintracht Frankfurt and was instrumental in his team’s run to the semi-finals, where they lost to eventual winners Chelsea. The Serbian striker ended the season as the second top-scorer of the competition, just behind the other nominee Olivier Giroud, with 10 goals.
The jury for the award was composed of the coaches of the 48 clubs that participated in the group stages of the previous campaign, along with 55 journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, one from each UEFA member association.