The Belgian winger admitted he was scared when he arrived at Stamford Bridge but has grown into a leading figure over his seven years
Eden Hazard says he has grown from a baby to a “big man” in his seven years at Chelsea as he approaches potentially his last game for the club.
The 28-year-old winger has suggested he will leave Chelsea this summer, with Real Madrid expected to sign him.
Hazard can win a second Europa League title with the Blues before departings as his side meet Arsenal in the final in Baku on Wednesday.
Reflecting on his time at Stamford Bridge, the Belgium international says he made the correct choice in joining Chelsea instead of any other Premier League side.
“When I came here I was a baby. Now I am a big man,” Hazard said according to The Mirror. “But as a person I didn’t change. I am still the same.
“As a player I score more goals and I have more experience, but I try to be the same as when I started. And then when I finish I will try to be the same.
“I was a little bit scared when I first arrived. Didier Drogba had left and when you have Drogba in the team for sure you win a trophy. But at the end I played with top players.
“And if you look at my seven years at Chelsea we did something amazing together.
“We won trophies together and I am just happy. I had a chance to sign for Manchester United, Man City, Tottenham but I made the right decision.
“I spoke with the owner and I had Drogba and Joe Cole on the phone telling me this was the best club.”
Hazard has scored 19 goals and made 16 assists in all competitions this season, making it his most productive campaign with the London club.
But due to Chelsea’s failure to challenge for the Premier League title and Carabao Cup final defeat in March, the attacker says he has had better years and believes he can keep improving.
“I just want to enjoy myself on the pitch and play good,” he added.
“The best example is with Belgium. I played my best game against Brazil in the World Cup and I didn’t score or make an assist. That is what I like to do.
“I don’t think about scoring goals or assists. I just want to do my best. In terms of goals and assists this has been my best season, but for me a good season is not whether I score 40 goals.
“I don’t think it is my best season overall. I don’t look on just about statistics. I can still improve.
“You can always improve and you can always learn in football, the more you play the more you learn. That is my philosophy here or if I play in another country. The main thing is to be happy on the pitch.”
And he is confident of giving the fans a reason to celebrate by bringing home another continental trophy.
“When you play for Chelsea, at the start of the season people think about which trophy we can have at the end of May,” he said.
“So this one is an important one. We lost the EFL Cup final two months ago, so at the end of the season this is the trophy we can go for.
“If we win the Europa League, the season can still be good. OK not perfect, because at the end you want to compete for the Premier League and FA Cup.
“But we have improved in the past two months. And if we go to Baku with a strong approach we can do something good there.”