Jan 23, 2013, 5:08 PM EDT
Eden Hazard may be a two-time French league player of the year, but after this incident Wednesday night in Wales, the 22-year-old Belgian attacker will always be known as the guy who kicked a kid in the stomach to try and get a ball.
I don’t know what that ball boy was doing, but short of trying to get a weapon from under his coat ahead of an assault of Hazard, there’s no justification for what he got: A kick in the ribs from a professional soccer player. Thankfully, he seems fine.
At the time, Chelsea was just over 10 minutes away from being eliminated from the League Cup, Swansea holding the 2-0 lead they earned at Stamford Bridge. So you can see how Hazard would be upset … if he were a petulant 12-year-old that had never received any guidance from an adult.
What if the Swans ballboy was trying to waste time? That’s something you will hear a lot about, especially given the tweet (right) the ball boy sent out before the game. So we’re dealing with two idiots instead of one, but Hazard’s actions are still those of somebody who doesn’t gasp the limited significance of a single soccer game. And as we saw on Wednesday, that’s dangerous.
One guy’s a moron. The other assaulted a ball boy. These are two entirely different discussions.
Hazard was red carded, leaving his team to play out the tie’s last moments with little chance of coming back. After seeing what their teammate did, Blues’ players could be forgiven for wanting to get out of Wales as soon as possible.
Now Swansea are on their way to Wembley to meet fourth-tier Bradford City in the League Cup final, but for the next couple of days, all anybody will want to talk about is one young man who lost his head. Expect Hazard to be suspended for a long time.
EDIT: Excuse me for linking directly to my Twitter account, but you’ll find the language of @ChelseaFC’s original tweet …
Pathetic. RT @chelseafc Hazard sent off for kicking the ball under ball boy trying to smother the ball rather than return it
— Richard Farley (@richardfarley) January 23, 2013
… that has since been deleted. An accompanying apology:
Apologiesfor earlier ballboy tweet. Hazard has now met with the ballboy and has saidsorry. #CFC
— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) January 23, 2013
May 20, 2013, 12:35 PM EDT
That’s sarcasm. Ruiz was always bound to cause headaches, one way or the other:
May 20, 2013, 11:57 AM EDT
The first-year Red Bulls center back made a huge imprint on New York’s win over Los Angeles:
May 20, 2013, 11:32 AM EDT
There is still plenty of star appeal as the Europa League champs’ roster for a quick two-game tour of the United States:
May 20, 2013, 11:09 AM EDT
Kljestan becomes the fifth American to defend a title in a top league:
May 20, 2013, 10:18 AM EDT
The Scottish striker will hardly be missed around Vancouver:
May 19, 2013, 10:00 PM EDT
Sporting K.C. manager Peter Vermes and defender Ike Opera didn’t appreciate the pivotal offsides call that disallowed a possible winning goal against D.C. United, and they made that very obvious.
May 19, 2013, 8:58 PM EDT
Paolo Di Canio and Andre Villas-Boas took to the media following their teams’ Premier League finale to voice displeasure with how their final fixture played out.
May 19, 2013, 7:51 PM EDT
A dull, scoreless first half picked up in the second term as D.C. United grabbed a point against the league’s second-best team and ended their club-record losing streak at 7 matches.
May 19, 2013, 5:50 PM EDT
With his eye on the imminent vacancy at Real Madrid left by Jose Mourinho’s almost certain departure, Paris Saint-Germain’s mastermind Carlo Ancelotti may now have a large hurdle to get past if he is to land his ideal job in Spain’s capital.
May 19, 2013, 5:34 PM EDT
Fernando Torres broke his Premier League scoring drought by banging home the game-winner to secure Chelsea a third place finish.
May 19, 2013, 5:22 PM EDT
Heartbreak in Serie A this year belongs to Fiorentina. Mario Balotelli converted a penalty in the 84th minute to draw level and two minutes later Philippe Mexes slotted home a cross to secure Europe’s top competition for AC Milan.
May 19, 2013, 5:01 PM EDT
Rare as they are, we’ve seen more than our share of “Olimpico” goals in MLS over the last pair of seasons, including one last night:
May 19, 2013, 4:47 PM EDT
With Arsenal and Tottenham the only teams battling for any meaningful positioning in the Premier League table, the final day still had implications for many teams in the form of placement prize money.
May 19, 2013, 4:28 PM EDT
Sir Alex Ferguson managed the final match of his career away from Old Trafford, and it looked set to complete on a high note, until the opposition had other ideas late.
May 19, 2013, 4:25 PM EDT
Another game-winning strike from Gareth Bale wasn’t enough to save Tottenham from more Champions League heartache.
May 19, 2013, 3:50 PM EDT
New York took all the points from the L.A. Galaxy on Tim Cahill’s late goal. So let’s talk about that goal.
May 19, 2013, 3:17 PM EDT
This Landon Donovan debate regarding his place on the national team is not going anywhere. So, did Sunday’s performance move the needle either way?
May 19, 2013, 2:42 PM EDT
Arsenal secured its 16th consecutive spot on the Champions League with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Newcastle at St. James’ Park on Sunday.
May 19, 2013, 1:43 PM EDT
Sensational news for fans around BMO Field:
May 19, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT
With David Beckham-esque tears streaming down my cheeks, we’re finally here: The final day of the 2012-13 Barclay’s Premier League.
- Premier League managerial pair blast squad and referee following final match 0
- VIDEOS: A brief history of recent “Olimpico” goals in MLS 2
- Where Landon Donovan’s afternoon takes us in the ongoing U.S. national team debate 7
- Philadelphia’s Jack McInerney would be league’s youngest Golden Boot winner 1
- Talking points on Portland’s 2-2 draw with Vancouver 0
- Parker carves up Grizzlies as Spurs roll in Gm. 1
- PHT: Senators sneak past Penguins in two overtimes
- PHT: Bruins crack Lundqvist, hammer Rangers
- HBT: Cabrera rips three homers, passes Greenberg
- MST: No bumping on Bump Day at Indy 500
- PBT: Spurs have too much offense for Grizz in Gm. 1
- PST: Arsenal grabs Champions League spot
- Play Video: Highlights: Union outlast Fire
- Play Video: Sir Alex says goodbye
- Play Video: Morgan committed to growth of new women's league
- Play Video: Boy with cancer, 8, scores against major league soccer team
- Play Video: Red Bulls pull off win on the road
- Play Video: Highlights: Montreal extinguish Chicago