Former Real Madrid player Eden Hazard, who retired four months ago, has opened up about his disappointing spell in the Spanish capital in an exclusive interview with L’Equipe. The Belgian winger, who joined Real Madrid from Chelsea in 2019 for a fee of £150 million, admitted that he did not fit in at the club, which he described as a bit of a ‘big-headed’ club, unlike his personality. He also confessed that he struggled with injuries, fitness, diet, and motivation during his time at the club, which affected his performance and confidence.
Hazard did admit he was a fan of Zinedine Zidane and the club since he was a child, and that it was his dream to play for Real, but he regretted not meeting the high expectations set upon his arrival. He also apologized to the club and the fans for not giving his best, and said he still loved the club and wished them well.
Below are some quotes from the interview:
On fulfilling his dream
“Now it’s easy to say. Since I was little I was a fan of [Zinedine] Zidane. The Bernabeu, the white shirt... it has a charm that the others don’t have. Madrid is special. Beyond that, I don’t think I fit in. It’s not like me.”
“It’s a bit of a big-headed club, and I’m not like that. I didn’t even like the way we played if you compare it with other clubs. But it was my dream. I couldn’t finish my career without coming here.
“This shows that Madrid is bigger than anything else. It is difficult to play there. Maybe I needed to train more.”
“I also had the worst injuries at the worst times. The operation ... I came back, it hurt, I forced myself. In the second season [Carlo] Ancelotti arrived. I had good preparation, I played well. But my body, the pain, the injuries.“
One final vacation
“With Chelsea I had just finished one of the best seasons of my career. I said to myself: ‘Now that I’m at Real Madrid, this is perhaps the last vacation in which I will be able to...’ And I let myself go as I do every time.
“After seven years in England, without a break at Christmas, giving everything... I decided to let myself go with barbecues, rose wine... [and] all that.
“And that’s what allowed me to restart and start again. Then in Madrid things went wrong and that’s it,”
Was Hazard’s Real Madrid’s demise inevitable becuse of his lack of professionalism? Managing Madrid’s Kiyan Sobhani seems to think so, as he mentioned on our podcast back in the summer time: