Creative Soccer Culture

In Conversation | Eden Hazard Launches Nike Mercurial Vapor Flyknit Ultra

Eden Hazard personifies the current generation of Mercurial players. Lightening fast, unpredictably skilful and a goalscoring record amongst the best in the world. A Mercurial player from day one, it's fitting that the Chelsea attacker will launch a next generation of Nike Mercurial technology in the Vapor Flyknit Ultra.

We're sat in a wooden dugout at an eerily quiet Cobham football pitch as Eden Hazard approaches us grinning as he leaves his final free kick from his Nike photoshoot nestled in an empty net. He's as happy here as he would be in front of a full Stamford bridge. He's just pleased to be back fit. Joining us in our lonely dugout Hazard takes a seat to bump us back to second choice sub and to discuss his comeback from injury, his long-standing relationship with the Nike Mercurial and who the fastest Hazard in the family is.


Eden, it's good to see you back to full fitness. Has it felt like a long summer?

Too long. Yeah, way too long. I’ve had two months out and now I’ve just got back onto the pitch for training. I'm feeling good and excited to get back on the pitch.

The timing must have been difficult. Just as you were beginning to look ahead to the new season... 

Yeah, it’s not easy to start pre-season at full fitness, so when you’re injured it’s even harder and you need to adapt. It was a new experience for me because it was my first big injury but I’m pretty much fully fit now so I’m looking forwards rather than what I’ve missed out on.

What was your summer like? You missed the pre-season tour...

I’ve never missed a pre-season tour before so that was weird. But sometimes it’s good because you run a lot, you travel a lot, and it can be very tiring. It’s difficult to miss out on the experience with all my teammates, but maybe missing the Singapore trip will be a good thing in the long run for me.

When you make your comeback you’ll be wearing the Nike Mercurial Ultra Flyknit. How would you describe the history you have with the boot?

The Mercurial is part of my family. I’ve played my whole career in the Mercurial, that’s maybe 14 years in the same boot. I’ve always been comfortable in the Mercurial, it gives me confidence, it’s fast and I’ve won a lot of trophies wearing the boots.


You’ve been testing the Ultra Flyknit in training. How are they different to the Mercurials you wore last season?

They have all of the same qualities – you can tell it’s a Mercurial. One thing you do notice is that they fit really nicely, like a sock, around the ankle.

When you were growing up you had players like Ronaldo and Thierry Henry wearing the Mercurial. Was that one of the main reasons that you wanted to wear the Mercurial?

Yeah, because I wanted to be like Thierry Henry, of course. He was fast, skilful, he'd score goals, spectacular goals. That's what the Mercurial represents for me, and Thierry Henry was the man you wanted to be like.

What is of your biggest memories of Ronaldo?

It has to be the World Cup in 2002 when he scored both goals in the final against Germany. He was unstoppable in his career, he'd make the best defences in the world look lost. He was so unpredictable when he got the ball. And even when defenders knew what he was going to do, they still couldn't stop him.


Your brothers Thorgan and Kylian wear the Mercurial. Ethan is a bit younger, does he wear them too?

Yeah they all wear the Mercurial too. Ethan’s still at a stage where he’s wearing what he wants from Nike, he’s been playing in the Magista and Hypervenom too, but Thorgan and Kylian both wear the Mercurial. We’ve always worn them growing up.

As the eldest brother did you always pass your boots down to your younger brothers when you were growing up?

Yeah of course. Even though Thorgan was a bigger size than me he would take my old ones. When we were young the same boots would get passed through the brothers. We’d always be taking each other Mercurials if we liked a different colour better. 

Who’s the fastest Hazard?

Me. Actually, me or Kylian. Definitely not Thorgan. He’s too slow.

In five years time Ethan, your youngest brother, will be 18. Have you ever thought what it would be like to play on the same team as all three of your brothers?

It’s my dream. I play with Thorgan already in the national team but I’d love to play with Kylian and maybe even Ethan too.

You must have a Whatsapp group between the four of you where you talk about games?

Yeah, of course. After the games when Thorgan plays or I play we talk together on the group. We talk everyday on the group.


Going back to Ronaldo. You met him this summer, was that the first time you met him?

Yeah, first time. I was meeting my hero, he’s a legend. Everyone who knows football knows Ronaldo, so even to talk to him for just five minutes was incredible.

We’ve spoken about Thierry Henry as well. Was he one of the main reasons you wanted to play in the Premier League?

Yeah. Everyone loved Thierry Henry. He was the kind of player who even when you support another team, you just wanted to be like Thierry Henry. Now I have the chance to be with him in the national team, because he’s the assistant coach so it’s great to actually work with him.

How much fun is it to have him around the national team?

It’s genuinely an honour to be around him. He’s much fun. He teaches you a lot, especially about how and when to shoot, and gives you advice about your movement. He’s great to watch and he’s definitely still got it when he joins in.

Cristiano Ronaldo is another player who is symbolic with the Mercurial. A lot of comparisons have been made between you two, but you’ve never played in a competitive game against him. Do you hope that that  changes soon? 

Yeah, I want to play against the best player in the world. Who wouldn’t? I’ve played against him once but that was only a friendly against Real Madrid. I’d definitely want to play against him.

Where does Cristiano Ronaldo rank amongst the most iconic players to have played the game?

Definitely top three. He's got a presence on the pitch and off it too. He's a symbol of our generation, for sure.

You’ve not played against Neymar either. As someone who has experience of the French league, how much impact do you think he’ll have in France?

He’ll have a massive impact, for sure. He’s a special player, he’s won everything with Barca and he’ll win everything with Paris Saint-Germain too.

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