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Eden Hazard reflects on Real Madrid stint: “It was my dream but did not go as I wanted”



Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Former Real Madrid winger Eden Hazard has said that playing for the Los Blancos was his dream and although his tenure did not go as he would have hoped, the time he spent with the club was amazing.

Hazard, now 33, retired from professional football at the age of 32 after struggling with fitness throughout his time at Real Madrid. For someone who was bought for more than €100 million, a lot was expected, but the story did not have a happy ending.

“Playing for Real Madrid was my dream. It did not go as I wanted but I played for a beautiful club,” Hazard told The Obi One Podcast.

The former forward added that he was extremely unlucky during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially because he had to do his recovery alone at home.

“I think I was unlucky at that stage with Covid. I went to Dallas to have surgery and when I came to Madrid, Covid was already there. And in two months of confinement alone at home, I was recovering.” 

He admitted that while he thought the routine he adapted was enough for him to be match fit, this wasn’t the case.

“I did exercises at home and that was enough for me. I didn’t think there was more to do. After two months I realized that I should have done more. When I returned to the field, I noticed that,” he added.

Hazard’s body gave up entirely

Speaking about his troubles, the 33-year-old explained that during the 2019-20 season when Real Madrid were crowned La Liga champions, he asked his then-coach, Zinedine Zidane, to use his services more often.

Eden Hazard struggled with fitness throughout his Real Madrid career. (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)

However, upon becoming the champion, he realized that his body was just not supporting his ideas.

“We were very close to becoming champions of the league, so I told Zidane: ‘I want to help, I want to press.’ Then on the day we became champions I said: ‘No, I can’t do more’. My body is suffering a lot, so I need proper rehabilitation, but this was already the end of the season.”

Hazard was largely criticised for being overweight during his time at Real Madrid and while explaining the same, although he admitted everything, he also said, 

“Every summer I gained 4 or 5 kilograms because I thought I had already done a lot for ten months. You put your body at the highest level and people ignore you. So your free time is your free time.”

What would he change about his career?

Hazard spent three and a half seasons with Real Madrid but couldn’t even reach a century of appearances while scoring a mere seven goals. His best tally came during his second campaign where he could only muster three goals in La Liga.

Upon asking if there was anything he would like to change from that time, Hazard explained,

“If I had to choose to change just one thing, it would be to ask the doctor to bring in a physiotherapist. When we got back on the field, I hurt myself, but my ankle wasn’t the same again and I broke it all the next season. And the rest, you know the story.”

Despite his struggles, there were flashes of his brilliance and the 33-year-old admitted that he felt the same.

“But if you look at my whole career, the first month of the season is the part that I thought was just the beginning, and then, starting from September and October, I was flying, because I needed time.” 

Eventually, when everything just stopped working for the winger, in October 2023, he decided to call time on his career.

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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid announce starting lineup to face Real Betis



Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Real Madrid will sign off on their successful La Liga campaign today with a fixture against Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The game, being seen as a final preparation for the UEFA Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund, sees manager Carlo Ancelotti field his strongest possible lineup.

All eyes will obviously be on the retiring Toni Kroos, who bids goodbye to the Bernabeu in what will be his final home game as a Real Madrid player.

The German international starts in the centre of the park alongside Federico Valverde, while Eduardo Camavinga slots in as the No. 6.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid captain, Nacho Fernandez, also starts in what could be his last game at the Bernabeu as well.

Nacho pairs up with Antonio Rudiger in defence, flanked by the full-back pairing of Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy. Thibaut Courtois starts in goal ahead of Andriy Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Up front, Vinicius Jr. starts in attack, partnering up with Rodrygo Goes. Top scorer Jude Bellingham occupies the attacking midfield role for Real Madrid.

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