Toure amazed at how Eden Hazard makes use of ‘large bum’ on the ball
Premier League legend Yaya Toure has explained how players like Eden Hazard use their “butts” to control the ball and bypass opponents in a brilliant piece for the Athletic (subscription required).
Toure doesn’t shy away from the fact that Hazard’s “big” bum has become a bit of a “joke” – certainly on social media, but the Ivorian insists he’s “very important” to the Belgian superstar’s game.
The ex-Manchester City midfielder is amazed at how well Hazard uses his bum to “block” opponents when he receives the ball and is challenged, adding that it acts like a “punch” on defenders.
Hazard is one of the best dribblers in the world and his unimaginable ability to use his entire body, especially his buttocks and hips, is one of the reasons he navigates out of danger so easily.
Toure, who has seen firsthand how Hazard uses this to his advantage, adds that Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suarez and Sergio Aguero are also good at this point, but “nobody is better” than Eden.
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Toure is absolutely amazed at how Hazard uses his butt to his advantage:
“With regard to Belgium, we have to talk about Eden Hazard.”
“It was almost a joke how big his bum is, but how he plays football is very important.”
“Hazard is so dangerous that when the ball comes to him, he may have less than five seconds for the opponent to be on top of him – I know from my time at City that you want to limit his time on the ball.”
“When the ball arrives at Hazard, he already feels that the opponent is coming at him, so he waits until the last moment and blocks it with his butt.”
“It pushes the opponent away – almost like a punch – and then, when he has opened this space between him and the defender, he will shut down and start the attack.”
“Other broad players use their butts this way, like Antoine Griezmann for France and you could see Luis Suarez and Sergio Aguero using this at Copa America but there is no one better at it than Eden Hazard.”
“The way he can control the ball after using his butt, the way he uses his butt and his body and hips to protect the ball when defenders run towards him like him Can turn in any direction after impact … unbelievable. “
Toure rounded off the interesting in-depth piece with:
“The best players, the ones who use this skill with their hips, are both feet. When the ball comes at them, they can look back, know who is coming, and then, after using their bum to protect the ball, they can go either way to get out of the narrow space. “
“Eden Hazard uses both legs, a big butt and can turn in any direction.”
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Hazard is so silky when it comes to effortless changes of direction, often from a standing start, that using his hips helps a lot.
This is not the kind of expert analysis we would have expected from retired Star Toure, but it is certainly valid and offers some detail on a facet of dribbling and ball control that is not often discussed.