With Vincent Kompany spending more time on the physio’s table than on the pitch, Eden Hazard has become the semi-permanent Belgium captain, a role he has revelled in.
The Chelsea forward, who has recaptured his deadly form under Antonio Conte, has been a key player for both club and country this season, already scoring 10 goals for the two combined.
Over in Germany, his younger brother, Thorgan, has been showing similar form, scoring seven goals in 13 appearances for Borussia Mönchengladbach so far, and this has caused friendly competition in the family, especially since both are now in Roberto Martinez’s plans.
Speaking to RTBF in Belgium, the 23-year-old said: “Eden and I are brothers, but in the national team, we’re rivals (smiles). There will never be a fight between us, and he might be happy for me if I take his spot. There will be no jealousy, that’s for sure.”
Explaining that he ‘runs more and defends more’ than his brother over the course of a game, Thorgan did however admit Eden ‘sprinted more’ was better at shielding the ball than he was.
As for what Eden is like as a captain compared to Kompany, he said: “They have different ways of wearing the armband. Eden isn’t someone who will talk a lot, but when he wants to, he can be heard by the group. When he speaks, everyone listens.”
There’s still a long way to go for Thorgan Hazard, though, who faces strong competition from his brother, Dries Mertens or both Kevins (De Bruyne and Mirallas) for his favoured spot behind the striker.
Then again, if he carries on his current form, he’ll end up giving Roberto Martinez a headache when it comes to selecting his strongest side.
He might even end up captain one day, like his brother.