Eden Hazard has explained why he’s no longer the player he was at Chelsea anymore after seven years at the London club.
The Belgium international left Chelsea in the summer of 2019, he won two Premier League and Europa League titles and picked up the PFA Player of the Year award in 2015 at Stamford Bridge.
Now regaining form and fitness with Belgium at Euro 2020, he made the assist for Kevin De Bruyne’s winner in their nation’s win over Denmark on Thursday, Hazard has now revealed what’s been behind his dramatic drop-off.
The 30-year-old has played just 43 matches over two seasons at Real Madrid, scoring five goals and laying eight assists but has picked up one La Liga winners medal.
Speaking about his struggles, Hazard said: “I never doubted my qualities, but whether I would be 100% fit for the European Championship was going to be a question.
“I broke my ankle three times, it will never be the same as 10 years ago,” the ex-Chelsea star revealed. “But I know that when I am in shape, that I can prove myself on the field and that’s what I’m working on now.”
Hazard has been a second-half substitute for Belgium in the two Group B games so far at the Euros, while his brother Thorgan – injured for tomorrow’s game with Finland – has started each game.
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Eden may not be able to play 90 minutes until the knockout stages, acknowledging he’ll need to be at his best when the time comes.
“I’m not 100% yet, but I’m ready to start. But that was the plan, to bring me along gradually. It’s especially important to be completely fit in the knockout phase. Then I have to be in top shape.”
Now managed by Carlo Ancelotti at club level and Roberto Martinez internationally, Hazard endured a frosty relationship with one of his former managers, who recently spoke about him.
Speaking on talkSPORT earlier this week, Jose Mourinho said: “The truth is what you see from him, he is an amazing player with awful training.
“You can only imagine what he could be with a super professional attitude in training,” explained the newly-appointed Roma manager.
“In the end, he is an amazing kid, he is an incredible family man, he looks like he doesn’t belong to this generation of players, he’s very quiet and is totally focused on family, on kids, on parents, on a very quiet life.
“But he gets onto the pitch every morning and… he doesn’t work much. “When he gets onto the pitch you don’t see the reflection of a week of work, you just see a reflection of his talent.”