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Saturday 3 December 2016

Eden Hazard wins Footballer of the Year

Chelsea's Eden Hazard gets the better of Liverpool's Steven Gerrard (floor) as they battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea's Eden Hazard gets the better of Liverpool's Steven Gerrard (floor) as they battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard has been voted the 2015 Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association.

The Belgium international topped the poll of 300-plus journalists with 53 per cent of the vote, comfortably ahead of Tottenham striker Harry Kane, with his 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, of the Sunday Mirror, 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."

As well as Hazard and Terry, Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas, defender Branislav Ivanovic and Thibaut Courtois also featured in the FWA's top 10.

The other players to receive votes were Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal, Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea, Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero and Leicester's 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 Professional Footballers' Association.

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