I won’t leave Real Madrid as a failure – Hazard
Belgium and Real Madrid forward, Eden Hazard, has said that he’s determined to leave a positive impact at Santiago Bernabeu.
Since joining Los Blancos from Chelsea in July 2019 for a club record fee of €100 million, Hazard has endured an unfortunate spell of reoccurring injuries which have kept him out of play most of the time and also affected his form.
Since 2019, he’s played in only 43 matches for Real Madrid across all competitions, missing out on 60 games due to injuries.
With only five goals and six assists under his belt, Hazard has since become a frequent target of criticism from fans and pundits alike.
In an interview with Flemish paper, Het Nieuwsblad, Hazard asserted that he will not leave Real Madrid “as a failure” despite his first two botched seasons with the Spanish side.
When asked if he intends to continue at Real Madrid, the 30-year-old said: “Yes, the thought of leaving hasn’t occurred to me for one second. I am not going to leave as a failure. I only want to show that I was made to play for Real Madrid. The last two seasons have been difficult. I was in Madrid without really being in Madrid, if you know what I mean? When I did play, it was difficult for the whole Covid-19 pandemic. We were playing in stadiums without fans, while I had signed to play at a full Bernabéu. I hope the work on our stadium is finished soon and that the stands are full with our fans. I need that.”
He further said: “I’m only myself when I can enjoy myself on the pitch. That hasn’t happened in the last two years at Madrid.
“If you have one or two injuries you can flip the switch, you recover to come back stronger, but if it’s five, six, seven it’s much more difficult mentally. But I keep going.”
Hazard also responded to a question on the subsequent criticism levelled at him after he was seen laughing with Chelsea players, Edouard Mendy and Kurt Kouma, following Real’s 2-0 defeat in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final at Stamford Bridge last season.
“That was bad, yes,” Hazard said in response to the question.
“What [Edouard] Mendy and [Kurt] Zouma said wasn’t even funny… If there was one game I wanted to win, it was against my former club Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
“I was surprised when I saw the images. I got some phone calls [from Real Madrid team-mates]. But honestly, it’s a nice group of players, that’s one of the reasons I want to stay, the atmosphere is impressive.”
When asked how he deals with criticism from the press and fans, he said “It’s all part of being at Madrid, and dealing with the fans. Luckily, I live in a closed residential area which can only be accessed by car. If the fans wanted to ring my door bell, they wouldn’t be able to. But I don’t mind signing autographs in other places. I try to live a normal life”.
Hazard starred in the Belgium side that defeated Russia 3-0 on Saturday at the Euro 2020 Group Stage match played at Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg, Russia.