Eden Hazard could collect two individual awards this weekend, but he admits collective success in the Europa League would mean more.
The Belgian has been nominated for both the PFA and PFA Young Player of the Year awards, alongside in the senior category Chelsea team-mate Juan Mata, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez, Manchester United’s Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick and Tottenham’s Gareth Bale. In the younger age group, he is alongside Bale, Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere, United’s Danny Welbeck and Belgian compatriots Romelu Lukaku (on loan at West Brom from Chelsea) and Christian Benteke of Aston Villa.
‘In France I was voted the best player by other players, which was a big honour,’ Hazard said. ‘It is good for me, but it is not so important. It is very nice to be nominated, but I am just happy to play well this season,’ he continued, ‘but maybe we can win in the Europa League, which would be more important.
‘It is about the team, not individual personal performances. Players want to win trophies, and so the Europa League would be better, and hopefully we can be back in the Champions League next season.
‘Juan is nominated also and he played very well this season, scoring and making assists. For me he has been our best player.
‘On the young list there is Lukaku and Benteke, the Belgians! Whoever wins I will be happy for them, but like I said, the team winning is more interesting to me.’
If we are to triumph in the Europa League, we will need to beat tonight’s opponents Basel over two legs, and then the winner of Fenerbahce and Benfica in an Amsterdam final, but Hazard is focused fully on what the Swiss side have to offer.
‘I admit I don’t know too much about Basel but they have good players, and I know they have some rapid and dangerous wingers.
‘Thursday is a big game and of course we have to try to win, but it is very important for the second leg that we score one goal, maybe two goals, and we do not lose the away game. We have lost too many away in Europe.’