Chelsea’s Eden Hazard: ‘I have rediscovered the pleasure to play’

'It's been a complicated season for Chelsea and me' says Eden Hazard, claiming he feels like he has once again found his footballing verve.

Chelsea's Eden Hazard celebrates his goal against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Monday night. Ben Stansall / AFP / May 2, 2016
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Chelsea's Belgium forward Eden Hazard said he had recovered his passion for the game after scoring a stunning equaliser to end Tottenham Hotspur's Premier League title hopes on Monday.

The 25-year-old came on at half-time in the ill-tempered derby and showed a glimpse of the form that made him England's Player of the Year last season when he curled a Diego Costa pass into the top corner to ensure Leicester City were champions.

Hazard, who played a key role in Chelsea’s title-winning campaign last term, has endured a disappointing season, with injuries and poor form restricting him to three league goals.

• Read more: Eden Hazard delivers to Leicester 'the most brilliant and unlikely' of sporting triumphs

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“Recently, I have rediscovered the pleasure to play. When you’re injured it’s hard to get that pleasure back. I played 45 minutes and I gave my maximum,” Hazard told Chelsea’s website.

“It’s been a complicated season for Chelsea and for me. It hasn’t been like last season but we have three matches left and we want to finish well by winning all three.”

The Belgian, who will be in action at Euro 2016 which starts next month, said the intense derby atmosphere against Spurs helped inspire him to produce his best display of the season.

“I like matches like that when they’re very hard and there is so much rivalry between the two teams. It allows me to find my best form. It’s football at its best,” he added.

Chelsea are ninth on 48 points and visit Sunderland and Liverpool before finishing the season at home to champions Leicester, managed by their former coach Claudio Ranieri.

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