The Belgian playmaker has excelled in Chelsea’s title surge despite being the most fouled player in the Premier League since the start of the 2014-15 season.
Conte was less than impressed by Manchester United’s treatment of Hazard in Monday’s FA Cup win and has called for a refereeing clampdown on crude tactics deployed to stop him.
He said: ‘I think it's right for the referees always to make the best decision and try to get the players to have the respect for their opponents and for football. We play football. I know it can happen that you can be kicked. It's normal, this.
'But the referee must pay great attention and then try to respect the rules of football. The football is a great sport.’
Referring to Monday’s game against United, he added: ‘It's important to underline that I spoke about the situation, about Eden Hazard.
'I replied in this way, that in the first 20-25 minutes I saw only this type of situation for him, and it was impossible for him to play football.
‘But I understand in football there are this type of situations. I don't like this, and I always want to face a team who want to play football and to beat us playing football. I think that's important.’
Despite the volume of fouls – 258 in two and a half years – Conte believes Hazard is increasingly resilient to physical challenges.
He said: ‘Hazard is a type of player who is very difficult to stop. For this reason, sometimes you try to stop him with a good or bad way. But I'm not worried. I'm not worried about this.
'Eden is very strong, physically, and has shown me that he is able to play this league, and this league is very strong physically. He's not tall, but he's strong.
‘Eden is showing great football but also great character and great personality in every game. I think he is growing a lot in this aspect. For him, it's fantastic. Not only for him, but also for the team.’