Thorgan Ganael Francis Hazard (French pronunciation: [tɔʁɡan azaʁ]; born 29 March 1993) is a Belgian footballer who plays for German club Borussia Mönchengladbach and the Belgium national team. He is a brother of Eden and Kylian Hazard, and like both of them, plays as an attacking midfielder or winger. Having previously played at every level in the Belgian national youth team system, he was handed his first senior international cap against the United States in May 2013. While playing in Belgium for SV Zulte-Waregem for two seasons, he was first awarded the Belgian Golden Shoe in January 2014, a prize for the best footballer in the Belgian Pro League, and later, the prize for best professional football player in May 2014.
Hazard was born in the city of La Louvière, but was raised in Braine-le-Comte, a small town in the Wallonia region. His first name was inspired by the Belgian comic strip Thorgal and he grew up in a family where football was dominant. His mother, Carine, and father, Thierry, were both footballers in Belgium. His father spent most of his career playing at semi-professional level with R.A.A. Louviéroise in the Belgian Second Division. He played mainly as a defensive midfielder. His mother played as a striker in the Belgian Women's First Division and stopped playing when she was three months pregnant with his older brother Eden. After playing football, both parents became physical education teachers. Thierry retired from his position in 2009 in order to devote more time to his children.
Hazard has three other siblings. His older brother, Eden, played for Lens' biggest rivals Lille and now plays for Chelsea in England. Hazard's other younger brothers are Kylian and Ethan. In 2013, Kylian joined White Star Bruxelles, but now plays for Hungary's Újpest FC, and Ethan goes to the youth academy of Eden's former club A.F.C. Tubize. Hazard and his three brothers were raised in a comfortable environment with their parents ensuring they had whatever they needed to excel. The family lived "no more than three meters" from a football training ground and the brothers often ventured onto a training pitch through a small hole in order to hone and develop their skills.
Hazard began his football career playing for hometown club Royal Stade Brainois at the age of five. After spending five years at the club, Thorgan followed his brother to Tubize. At the age of 14, he was discovered by French club Lens, while playing for Tubize in a local tournament. Similar to his brother's move to Lille, his parents accepted an offer from Lens with hopes that the training facilities in France would be better. Hazard's father later admitted that Eden was much better than Thorgan, join clubs in the North of France was the best solution stating "They remained so close to home and, at the same time, they integrated at structures where they could grow, because in Belgium, unfortunately, it's a little empty for the training of youth". While in the club's youth academy, Hazard played for the Lens under-16 team, alongside players such as Geoffrey Kondogbia and Raphaël Varane, that won the 2008–09 edition of the Championnat National des 16 ans'44
On 7 April 2010, Hazard signed his first professional contract agreeing to a three-year deal until June 2013. Ahead of the 2010–11 season, Hazard trained with the senior team during the pre-season. On his pre-season debut, he scored a goal in a 1–1 draw with Belgian club KSV Roeselare. Hazard, however, began the season with the club's Championnat de France amateur team in the fourth division. He made his amateur debut on 8 August 2010 appearing as a substitute in a 2–0 victory over Drancy. After spending most of the season playing concurrently with the reserve team in the CFA and with the under-19 team in the Coupe Gambardella, on 9 May 2011, Hazard was named to the senior team for the first time for a league match against Bordeaux that was played on 11 May. The player ultimately did not feature in the match and finished the 2010–11 campaign with no senior team appearances.
Ahead of the 2011–12 season, Hazard was promoted to the senior team permanently and assigned the number 22 shirt. He made his professional debut in the team's opening league match of the season against Reims appearing as a second-half substitute in a 2–0 defeat.
On 24 July 2012, Chelsea confirmed on its website that the club had agreed terms with Lens for the transfer of Hazard, soon after the signing of his brother Eden from Lille. He made his debut on 17 August 2012 in an Under-21 Premier League match, which ended in a 0–0 home draw against Manchester City in what was to be his only appearance in Chelsea colours before leaving the club. On 30 August 2012, Hazard was sent on a season-long loan move to Belgian Pro League club Zulte Waregem. The move was set up to allow him first-team experience rather than be developed slowly by Chelsea.
Loan to Zulte Waregem
On 30 August 2012, Hazard was loaned out to Zulte Waregem until May 2013. He made his debut on 15 September 2012, in a 1–0 away win against OH Leuven. Hazard scored his first goal on 31 October 2012, in a 4–1 home win against Charleroi. On 16 May 2013, Hazard put in an impressive shift as he scored the game's opening goal from the penalty spot before providing two assists in a 5–2 defeat of Club Brugge at the Regenboogstadion in Waregem.
On 15 July 2013, Chelsea and Waregem agreed for Hazard to be loaned back for another year until the end of the 2013–14 season. Hazard scored a free-kick and assisted a goal as Zulte won their season opener against K. Lierse S.K. on 27 July.
On 2 August, the Belgian club announced that Hazard would be replacing experienced defender Davy De Fauw as club captain, which was received with much anger from a section of the club's supporters. This led to Hazard handing the captain's armband back, less than 24 hours after receiving it. After the incident, reported rumors started afterward stating that the move to make Thorgan the club captain was one of the conditions in the loan deal imposed by Chelsea. On 28 November 2013, Hazard scored against Wigan Athletic in a 2–1 win in the Europa League Group Stage win at the DW Stadium. He was voted as Zulte's player of the season, and scored 17 goals in 53 games across all competitions. Hazard also won the Belgian Player of the Year Award for his performances at SV Zulte Waregem.
Loan to Borussia Mönchengladbach
On 5 July 2014, Hazard was loaned to Borussia Mönchengladbach of the German Bundesliga for the upcoming season. During his loan with Borussia Mönchengladbach, Hazard will be wearing the number 26. In the 3–1 win against FC 08 Homburg in the DFB-Pokal 16 August 2014, Hazard made his debut coming on in the 78th replacing Branimir Hrgota. He then made his league debut 24 August 2014, in a 1–1 draw against VfB Stuttgart coming off the bench in the 67th minute.
He scored twice in their 7–0 win over FK Sarajevo in the Europa League play-offs on 28 August 2014, including a curling free-kick from 35 yards out.
On 6 December 2014, Hazard started against Hertha Berlin, only his second start in the Bundesliga. He played the full 90 minutes and assisted Tony Jantschke for the first goal of the game in the opening 10 minutes, as well as scoring the winning goal in the 83rd minute, his first of the Bundesliga season. The game ended in 3–2 win for his team, breaking a four-game winless streak.
On 23 February 2015, Hazard agreed to sign permanently for Borussia Mönchengladbach on 1 July. He joined on a five-year contract till June 2020, a buy-back agreement with Chelsea included. The contract consists of four years, along with one year optional. The transfer fee was reported as €8 million (£5.9 million), 16 times as much as Chelsea paid for him.
During an interview about his move becoming permanent in the summer, Hazard confirmed that his deal does contain a buy-back clause and that he still dreams of returning to Stamford Bridge in the future. In his interview, Hazard stated "I am focusing on excelling at Borussia Monchengladbach, but I still hope to play for Chelsea one day."
On 24 August 2016, Hazard scored his first ever hat-trick in a 6–1 victory over BSC Young Boys in the second leg of the Champions League play-off round. Mönchengladbach set a record with a 9-2 aggregate scoreline which is the biggest ever margin of victory in a play-off tie.
Hazard is a Belgian youth international and has represented his nation at under-16, under-17, and under-18 level. With the under-16 team, Hazard was a regular participant. He made his debut on 16 September 2008 in a 5–0 defeat to Germany in a tournament in Hassloch. In the team's next match in the tournament against Macedonia, Hazard scored a goal in a 3–0 victory. For the rest of the under-16 campaign, he scored goals in matches against Malta and Poland. Hazard also played with the team at the 2009 edition of the Aegean Cup in Turkey. He featured in all three matches as Belgium crashed out in the group stage portion of the competition.
Due to his increased participation with Lens domestically, Hazard primarily played in competitive matches with the under-17 team under coach Bob Browaeys. In August 2009, he played with the team in the Toto Cup, a yearly international youth tournament held in Austria. In the first qualifying round for the 2009 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship, Hazard scored his only goal with the team in a 1–1 draw with Montenegro. He was, subsequently, called up to the team in March 2010 for Elite Round qualification matches that were played in Northern Ireland. Hazard played in all three matches as Belgium failed to earn qualification to the tournament.
Hazard appeared in only one match with the under-18 team before bypassing the age level to represent the under-19 team ahead of the 2011 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship. He made his debut on 8 February in a friendly match against Belarus scoring the team's only goal in a 1–0 win. On 27 March 2011, Hazard scored the game-winning goal converting a penalty in a 2–1 win over the Ukraine. In Elite Round qualification for the 2011 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, Hazard featured as a starter and played the entire match in all three group stage matches. In the second group stage match against Estonia, Hazard netted the winner in the 88th minute to give Belgium a 3–2 win. The victory allowed the nation to qualify for the tournament with one game to spare. Belgium ultimately finished the Elite Round unbeaten. At the 2011 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, Hazard featured in two of the three group stage matches Belgium contested. In the team's opening match against Spain, Hazard assisted on the team's only goal in a 4–1 defeat after his shot from distance was blocked by the Spanish defence and fell into the path of team-mate Florent Cuvelier who, subsequently, converted his shot. Belgium, ultimately, finished last in its group, which resulted in the team being eliminated from the tournament.
Due to being an underage player in the 2010–11 season, Hazard remained eligible to play on the under-19 team for the 2011–12 season. In the first match of the campaign against Denmark, Hazard scored the team's only goal converting a penalty in a 1–1 draw. On 7 September 2011, he scored the second goal in the team's 4–1 friendly match win over Turkey. In first round qualification for the 2012 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship, Hazard scored a team-leading three goals. In the first group match against Wales, he scored a double in a 3–0 win and, in the team's final group match against Scotland, Hazard netted the second goal in a 3–1 victory. In Elite Round qualification, Hazard appeared in two of the team's three group stage matches as Belgium finished third in the group behind favourites Spain and Italy.
On 16 May 2013, Hazard earned his first senior call up after being included in Marc Wilmots' 28-man squad ahead of a friendly with the United States followed by a World Cup qualifier against Serbia. On 29 May, he made his senior international debut for Belgium as a second-half substitute for Chelsea team-mate Romelu Lukaku in the 4–2 friendly win over the United States.
Hazard was one of seven standby players named for Belgium's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
- As of 16 September 2016