The latest edition of Chelsea, available now in print and digital format, takes a look back at the club’s annual Player of the Year awards ceremony.
Held in the Great Hall at Stamford Bridge, the evening was hosted by Chelsea TV’s Gigi Salmon and Radio 1 DJ – and lifelong Blue – Trevor Nelson. The main award was won by Eden Hazard, with Cesar Azpilicueta taking the Players’ Player of the Year prize.
‘It’s a pleasure for me to be winner of the Players’ Player of the Year because it means that my team-mates are happy with my work and I am proud because I am with them and the manager every day,’ Azpilicueta told Chelsea magazine.
‘I think it’s been a great season, but we can do better next season because we didn’t win a trophy. I think everyone can improve, so obviously I think next year is going to be better.’
The first award of the evening, Goal of the Season, was won by Under-21 midfielder Lewis Baker who was presented with his award by club legend Bobby Tambling, who was delighted to be back at Stamford Bridge.
‘It’s absolutely brilliant to come back to Stamford Bridge and especially at a do like this,’ said Tambling when he too was interviewed by Chelsea. ‘To see all the current lads is great because over the last few years they’ve seen me here in a wheelchair, on crutches and now on my own two legs.
‘I also don’t think the fans realise what they do for people like me and the other former players when they see us at events like this. Every time they remember us and tell us how they loved to watch us play it makes us feel like young men again.’
Hazard is the main interview subject in the latest edition of the magazine and the 23-year-old cut a jovial figure when he was presented with the award by Jose Mourinho.
‘The three nominees, Azpi, Gary and JT, you deserve this,’ said the Belgian at the time, ‘but it’s me, so maybe you have to work a bit more! No, just thank you, it was a great season for me and I’m very happy to play for Chelsea.’
Reflecting later in conversation with Chelsea, Hazard was eager to praise his team-mates for their support.
‘I have to say thank you to my team-mates because the training is very important,’ he tells the magazine. ‘If I feel good in training, I feel good on the pitch and in the games and that’s what happened this season. This season was better than my first and I hope next season will be better again.’
Elsewhere in the magazine, Ken Monkou is this month’s ‘Chelsea Icon’, with the Dutchman looking back on his time in west London, 25 years after making the switch from Feyenoord.
Monkou has enjoyed a varied career since hanging up his boots and he explains his current projects, as well as recalling his time as a Chelsea player, winning the club’s Player of the Year award in his first season and how manager at the time Bobby Campbell inadvertently saved his life.
Willian’s big moments
Having just come to the end of his first season in English football, Willian looks back on the matches which have helped shape his career to date.
Included in the Brazilian’s selection are a couple of early matches for Corinthians, a Champions League game for Shakhtar Donetsk against the Blues and the match, at Norwich, in which he scored his first Chelsea goal.
Ahead of next month’s tournament on home soil, he also recalls the two occasions in his lifetime when Brazil have won the World Cup.
Rob reports on Chelsea passion
Rob Wotton is used to being in the public eye in his role as a presenter on Sky Sports News, and in the latest edition of Chelsea he talks about his love affair with the Blues, which started in the 1970s.
Remaining impartial when reporting on the Blues can be difficult, as he explains, and he also recalls how he was forced to miss the 1998 European Cup Winners’ Cup final, albeit for another special event.
Youth Cup joy
An unforgettable comeback against Fulham saw our Under-18s win a second FA Youth Cup in three years with three late goals turning the tie on its head.
The latest edition of the magazine looks back on the two-legged final, as well as the rest of the campaign, with the help of manager Adi Viveash and some of the key performers.
Promotion squad remembered
It’s 30 years since the Blues secured promotion back to the top flight after five years in the old Division Two, clinching the title on goal difference from Sheffield Wednesday, and the latest edition of Chelsea provides profiles of those players who helped us return to the First Division in what was an unforgettable campaign.
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