Eden Hazard opens up on the role Michael Emenalo played in his Chelsea career

Eden Hazard speaks of Michael Emenalo's role in his career || Eurosport

Eden Hazard opens up on the role Michael Emenalo played in his Chelsea career

Stephen Oladehinde 22:07 - 19.02.2024

In a revealing chat on the Obi One podcast, Eden Hazard opened up about his initial days at Chelsea, shedding light on the crucial figures who made his transition smoother and his surprising interactions with the club's hierarchy.

Hazard's journey at Chelsea began with linguistic barriers and unexpected alliances, painting a vivid picture of his early adaptation to life in the Premier League.

Navigating New Beginnings

Hazard candidly shared the challenges he faced upon arriving at Chelsea, particularly the language barrier that made communication with teammates difficult. 

"Me, I was not talking English, you know, he was, he was not talking French so we couldn't talk together. So the one who made this move was Michael Emenalo because Michael Emenalo was talking French with me. 

"So he's the guy who helped me a lot in that period," Hazard revealed during an interview with Mikel Obi as reported by 𝗼𝗻𝗲𝗷𝗼𝗯𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗯𝗼𝘆 on X.

This insight highlights the role of Michael Emenalo, the then technical director, who bridged the gap for Hazard, not just linguistically but also in making him feel at home.

Ex-Chelsea star Eden Hazard || Getty
Ex-Chelsea star Eden Hazard || Getty

The Belgian Connection and Beyond

The conversation took an interesting turn when Hazard discussed his expectations of playing alongside fellow Belgians. "And now we have a normal chat with Roman about football, about me playing which position next season. 

"And I was like, what? You just want to give me the key to the team already. I'm like, what? No. And then I knew and I said to my agent at that time, I was like, OK, let's go there.” 

Hazard scored over a century of goals for Chelsea.
Hazard scored over a century of goals for Chelsea.

However, the anticipated Belgian camaraderie was short-lived, "So I was like, OK, I'm going with my friends, you know, so for me, you know, adaptation will be better with people I know, you know, Belgian guy and then I came and then I went there, they all left the club. I was alone, man."

Despite the departure of his Belgian peers, Hazard found friendship and support in an unexpected figure, Demba Ba. "The only one who saved me that first season was Demba Ba. 

"He became a close friend and my guy," Hazard shared, highlighting the importance of camaraderie and support systems for players in new environments.