Chelsea winger Eden Hazard has praised his coach Jose Mourinho for developing him as a player ahead of the Capital One Cup final.
The Belgian has been regularly challenged by Mourinho to compete with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at the very top of the game, and Hazard welcomes the test of his ability.
“It’s true we do have a special relationship,” said the 24 year-old to the Independent.
“What is good about him as a coach is that he lets us play. He lets me play. He is not always on at me and I really appreciate that.
“If it isn’t good he says so, if it is good he says so. He is always direct. But I don’t think he has changed me.
“He has taught me to become more professional and to be better on the pitch.
“I don’t think I have changed my mentality. You can’t change that. I am who I am. He has always taught me to get the best out of myself.”
Hazard is often victim of some agricultural tackles, but dismissed concerns over the physical treatment he gets.
“I have always thought if there is a game and there have been a lot of fouls on me then I have been playing well for the team, so that means we’re having a good match,” he is quoted as saying by CaughtOffside. “You can win a free-kick when there’s a foul and that’s a chance to score a goal.
“I have always been small so defenders have always been taller and tougher than me. So that’s difficult for me, they foul me sometimes but there you are – that’s what the rules of the game are for.”