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Updated February 4th, 2024 at 17:53 IST

‘Maybe I needed to…’ - Eden Hazard opens up about tough spell at Real Madrid post retirement

Eden Hazard shares insights on his challenging tenure at Real Madrid following his retirement from professional football.

Reported by: Aryan Suraj Chadha
Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard announced his retirement from professional football | Image:AP
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Eden Hazard, who retired from football last year, faced a challenging career end. His time at Real Madrid was marred by injuries, weight concerns, and declining performances. However, he shone during his prime years at Chelsea. Despite a less than ideal conclusion to his career, his talent and contributions to the sport are remembered during his time with the English club.

3 things you need to know 

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  • Eden Hazard retired from professional football in 2023 
  • Eden Hazard failed at Real Madrid 
  • Eden Hazard’s prime came at Chelsea

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Eden Hazard accepts that he couldn't handle the pressure in Spain

The former Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard freely said that he was unable to handle the intense pressure at the team. He also acknowledged that ongoing injuries made matters worse, which eventually led to his exit from the Spanish powerhouses.

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Hazard stated in an interview with L'Equipe that he has always wanted to play for Real Madrid. He was open about the fact that, despite his goals, he found it difficult to adjust and fit in with the squad after making the change. Eden Hazard said: 

“I've been a Zinedine Zidane fan since I was a child. The Bernabeu, the white kit… it has a charm that others don't have. Real Madrid is special. Beyond that, I don't think that I fit in. It's not like me. It's a bit of a 'swaggering' club, and I'm not like that. I also didn't like the way we played if you compare it to other clubs. But, it was my dream. I couldn't finish my career without coming here.”

"I would've liked to do things my way and succeed. It shows that Real Madrid is bigger than anything else. It's complicated to play there. Maybe I needed to train more. I also had the worst injuries at the worst times. The operation, the plate... I'm coming back, [and] it hurts, I'm sore. In the second season, Ancelotti arrives. I had good preparation, I play well, but my body, the pain, the injuries..."

Also Read: Eden Hazard gives a strange verdict on Messi or Ronaldo debate

Eden Hazard's Real Madrid contract was set to expire after one season, but the parties decided to split ways amicably last year. The Saudi Pro League and Major League Soccer (MLS) both extended offers to the Belgian, but he unexpectedly decided to end his career as a professional football player.

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The former Chelsea player accumulated an amazing collection of medals during his time at Real Madrid, which included eight titles: two La Liga championships, one Copa del Rey, one Champions League, one Club World Cup, one European Super Cup, and two Spanish Super Cups. Hazard only made 76 appearances over four seasons with the club due to chronic ailments, despite his accomplishments.

Hazard, on the other hand, had a successful seven-year career with Chelsea, appearing in 352 games during that time. In sharp contrast to his seven goals for Real Madrid, he scored 110 goals for the Premier League team, demonstrating his goal-scoring ability.

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Published February 4th, 2024 at 17:53 IST

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