London: Chelsea winger Eden Hazard feels the time is right for the club to try and win the UEFA Champions League again ahead of their campaign opener against Qarabag at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
“This year is really important (in the Champions League),” Hazard was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror after Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Leicester on Saturday.
“I just reached the semi-final with Chelsea, when we lost to Atletico Madrid [in 2014], so it’s in my head to win this trophy.
“I have won the Premier League, I have won the title in France, I have won cups, but big players always want to win the Champions League. I think now it is time to win this. We have a good squad, we have a good manager, so we are ready for it,” he added.
The London-based club coached by Antonio Conte are the last English team to triumph in Europe’s elite club competition.
Chelsea were crowned champions in a dramatic fashion with a penalty shootout victory over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in 2012.
Chelsea are the defending champions in the English Premier League but did not take part in the Champions League last season as they failed to qualify under now Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.
“As a player, you want to be in the Champions League, but last year we just had to watch it on the television. That isn’t a good feeling,” Hazard added.
“I hate having to watch it, I don’t like watching any games. You want to play these kind of games because every time you play in the Champions League it’s a big game and everybody is watching you, so yeah we are happy to be back.”
Hazard is working his way back to full fitness after sitting out the summer with a broken ankle.
“I feel ready, ready to be part of the team. I had the chance to play with my national team and did a good job there (over the international break) and for the last month I’ve just been working hard to be fit,”he added.
On club-record signing Alvaro Morata, who in Hazard’s absence has emerged as a key player for Chelsea, the Belgian said: “Like you saw, I saw he is a good player — I saw that he scores a lot with his head, now he needs to score with his feet,” Hazard was quoted as saying by Goal. “He is a top player. He can score every time. When he scores, we win the game so I think he is good.
“He is in good form. Even in the (Spanish) national team he scored three times so I hope that for Chelsea, he can score a lot of goals,” he added.