GERRARD: I’VE LOST THE BUZZ
The garden of Eden is blooming and that is official, twice.
Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard has been voted the 2015 Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association.
It follows the same accolade from his fellow stars at the Professional Footballers Awards ceremony.
It would be hard to argue with either verdict for a guy whose speed, agility, passing prowess and goalscoring ability has lit up the 20142015 campaign.
The Belgium international came out first in the poll of 300-plus journalists with 53 per cent of the vote, well ahead of Tottenham striker Harry Kane, who has enjoyed a stellar first top-flight season, with Hazard’s Chelsea team-mate and captain John Terry third.
The 24-year-old playmaker has scored 20 goals in all competitions so far this season and created many more as Jose Mourinho’s side secured a first Barclays Premier League title since 2009-2010.
Hazard will be honoured with the prestigious FWA accolade, which has been running since 1948, at a gala dinner in London on May 21.
FWA chairman Andy Dunn said: “The list of truly world class players on the Football Writers’ Association roll of honour is a long one and Eden Hazard is a worthy addition.
“A creator, a goalscorer and the hardest of workers, Hazard has been a constant source of threat for the Barclays Premier League champions.
“But it is not just his trickery, his pace, his artistry and his marksmanship that make Hazard such an invaluable component of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea squad, it is his durability.
“Hazard has started all 36 Premier League matches and, considering the particularly close attention he receives from opponents, that is a feat in itself.”
and Terry, Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas, defender Branislav Ivanovic and Thibaut Courtois also featured in the FWA’s top 10 players of the season.
The other players to win votes were Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal, Manchester United keeper David De Gea, Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero and Leicester veteran Esteban Cambiasso.
Former Lille midfielder Hazard, signed by Chelsea for £32million in June 2012, was last week also named Player of the Year by the PFA.
By the modern standards of spending that £32m looks a bargain now.
But in contrast