Toni Kroos took a swipe at his former Real Madrid team-mate Eden Hazard on Wednesday, saying that the £400,000-per-week player ‘let his career die’ at Santiago Bernabeu.
The LaLiga side, who signed Hazard for £88m from Chelsea in 2019, called an end to the Belgian’s disappointing four-year spell in Madrid and to ripped up his contract early last week.
After failing to make any impact in Spain, Hazard is now considering retirement at 32, having already called time on his international career after Belgium’s miserable 2022 World Cup campaign.
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Kroos, who won three LaLiga titles and four Champions League trophies during his nine-year spell at Real Madrid, appeared to reference the flop while firing a warning to Jude Bellingham after his six-year move to the Bernabeu was confirmed on Wednesday.
It is believed Bellingham’s transfer from Dortmund will guarantee the Bundesliga side £88.5m – a fee similar to the amount Madrid paid for Hazard’s in 2019 – but will rise to £113.5m after he completes an achievable set of performance-related add-ons.
‘We had another player who came for a lot of money and basically let his career die,’ he insisted on his podcast Einfach mal Luppen.
‘It was a lot of money, I think everyone would say that wasn’t a good transfer. But let’s be positive.’
During his four injury-plagued years at the Bernabeu, Hazard netted only seven goals in 76 games for the Spanish giants.
After the move was confirmed, Bellingham was welcomed to the club by Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr who tweeted: ‘Welcome to the best team in the world, @BellinghamJude.’