Hazard has since gone on to quickly put himself on the level of the rest of the world’s elite. after spending most of the last four seasons knocking on the door.
Here’s how the Belgium captain and his fellow stars have fared since the summer.
Hazard was named the second-best player at the World Cup, and since starring in Russia, he’s gotten even better. New Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has unlocked Hazard’s best by allowing the playmaker to play with more freedom.
The result has been that the 28-year-old has shot up to the top of the Premier League scoring charts, and begun looking like one of the best players in the world.
Lukaku seemed to have emerged from the World Cup a more rounded, mature player, ready to take on greater responsibility. Instead, he’s been in an inexplicable slump for Manchester United, where he’s currently in a six-game goal drought.
His profligacy in front of goal has been a big factor behind United’s middling start to the season, as he’s passed up chances that could have resulted in a different result. Still, seven goals from 13 games is hardly a bad record for an out-of-form striker.
Clean Sheets: 4
It’s been a tumultuous time for Courtois after his World Cup heroics. Entering the final season of his contract at Chelsea, he failed to report to training, trying to force through a move to Real Madrid.
He got his wish, though he’s had to split time with Keylor Navas at the Santiago Bernabeu and he’s been part of Madrid’s recent slump. On the plus side, he was named the year’s best goalkeeper by FIFA, and nominated for the Ballon d’Or.
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