Highly-regarded Belgian international
midfielder Eden Hazard has opted to join European champions
Chelsea ahead of Manchester City and Manchester United, the
player said on Monday.
"I am signing for the Champions League winner," Hazard, 21,
said on his Twitter feed.
Hazard, named the best Ligue 1 player in the last two
seasons, had been expected to join either Premier League
champions Manchester City or runners-up Manchester United after
he said he would choose between the two.
The gifted playmaker, capped 27 times by Belgium, led Lille
to the French title in 2011 and scored 20 goals this season,
including a hat-trick in his farewell game, as they finished
third to qualify for next season's Champions League play-off.
He announced in October that he would leave Lille at the end
of the season.
Hazard made his league debut for Lille as a 16-year-old and
quickly had scouts flocking to the club's Metropole stadium. His
performances earned the Ligue 1's top prospect award for
successive seasons, before he secured the full accolade in the
last two campaigns.
With tremendous pace and an eye for goal, Hazard prefers to
play on the left flank and his penetrating runs and tight ball
control are a menace to any defence.
Chelsea won the Champions League for the first time this
month, adding to their FA Cup final success. The London side
endured a disappointing league campaign, however, finishing
sixth after sacking manager Andre Villas-Boas in March.
Former player Roberto Di Matteo took interim charge and
guided the team to an unexpected Champions League final win over
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