By Joe Doyle
Chelsea attacker Eden Hazard says team-mate Juan Mata is the club’s best footballer, after both were nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award.
The pair, two-thirds of the Blues’ “Three Amigos”, have excelled this season, though Hazard is adamant that the Spanish international is more deserving of the award.
The Belgian has also been nominated for the Young Player of the Year award and would be happy to see countrymen Romelu Lukaku and Christian Benteke take the prize, while stressing that individual accolades are less important than silverware for the team.
“In France I was voted the best player by other players, which was a big honour,” Hazard told the club’s official website.
“It is good for me, but it is not so important. It is very nice to be nominated, but I am just happy to play well this season. But maybe we can win in the Europa League, which would be more important.
“It is about the team, not individual personal performances. Players want to win trophies, and so the Europa League would be better, and hopefully we can be back in the Champions League next season.
“Juan is nominated also and he played very well this season, scoring and making assists. For me he has been our best player.
“On the young list there is Lukaku and Benteke, the Belgians! Whoever wins I will be happy for them, but like I said, the team winning is more interesting to me.”
Chelsea face Basel in the semi-final of the Europa League, in hope of going on to play either Fenerbahce or Benfica in the final in Amsterdam.
While Hazard admits he does not know much about Chelsea’s opponents, he knows they will have to be wary against the team that knocked out Tottenham in the last round.
He added: “I admit I don’t know too much about Basel but they have good players, and I know they have some rapid and dangerous wingers.
“Thursday is a big game and of course we have to try to win, but it is very important for the second leg that we score one goal, maybe two goals, and we do not lost the away game. We have lost too many away in Europe.”