Former Manchester City and Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure recently wrote an article for The Athletic about how Eden Hazard uses his butt during play to obtain and keep control of the ball.
“It has almost become a joke how big his bum is, but it is very important to how he plays football. Hazard is so dangerous that when the ball comes to him, he has maybe less than five seconds before the opposition is on him - I know from my time at City, you want to limit his time on the ball.”
“When the ball arrives at Hazard, he can already sense the opponent coming towards him, so he waits until the last moment and uses his bum to block them. It pushes the opponent away - almost like a punch - and then, when he has opened up that space between him and the defender, he will power away and start the attack.”
“Other wide players use their bums this way, such as Antoine Griezmann for France, and you might see Luis Suarez and Sergio Aguero use this at the Copa America, but there is no one better at it than Eden Hazard.”
“The way he can control the ball after using his bum, the way he uses his bum and his body and his hips to protect the ball when defenders run at him, the way he can turn in any direction turn after the impact, it is unbelievable.”
The article is a very interesting read because, as Toure says, it has become a sort of running joke about Hazard’s posterior. So to actually see a tactical analysis of how he and other players use theirs during play is quite unique.
You can see Hazard and his bum in action this weekend as they are set to play a nation to be determined as part of the EUROs Round of 16 on Sunday.