Eden Hazard has been named the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League Player of the Season.
The Belgian attacking midfielder, 28, finished well clear of former Chelsea club-mate Olivier Giroud and Luka Jović – now a team-mate at Real Madrid – to win the third edition of the award, which was announced during the UEFA Europa League group stage draw in Monaco.
Hazard was man of the match as Chelsea beat Arsenal 4-1 in May’s final in Baku, setting up his side’s second goal and then scoring the third and fourth himself to crown his farewell game as a Blues player before his move to the Santiago Bernabéu.
The last of his seven seasons with the Blues was one in which he made a number of key interventions; he scored 21 goals in all competitions, and laid on 17 assists, statistics which earned him the club’s Player of the Season prize in early May.
Top ten players of 2018/19 UEFA Europa League
1 Eden Hazard (Chelsea, now Real Madrid) – 340 points
2 Olivier Giroud (Chelsea) – 119 points
3 Luka Jović (Eintracht, now Real Madrid) – 94 points
4 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) – 65 points
5 Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) – 19 points
6 N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea) – 16 points
7 João Félix (Benfica, now Atlético) – 12 points
8 Willian (Chelsea) – 11 points
9= Pedro Rodríguez (Chelsea) – 9 points
9= Sébastien Haller (Eintracht, now West Ham) – 9 points
How Hazard was selected
The jury was composed of the coaches of the 48 clubs in last season’s group stage, together with 55 journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, one from each UEFA member association.
Jury members chose their top three players, with the first receiving five points, the second three and the third one. Coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own teams. Paul Pogba won the inaugural award for 2016/17, while Antoine Griezmann triumphed in 2017/18.
All the 2018/19 award winners
UEFA Men’s Player of the Year: Virgil van Dijk
UEFA Women’s Player of the Year: Lucy Bronze
Goalkeeper of the Season: Alisson Becker
Defender of the Season: Virgil van Dijk
Midfielder of the Season: Frenkie de Jong
Forward of the Season: Lionel Messi