Eden Hazard Says He Is in 'Seventh Heaven' at Real Madrid

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 10, 2019

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - AUGUST 07: Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) looks on during the pre-season friendly match between RB Salzburg and Real Madrid at Red Bull Arena on August 07, 2019 in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Eden Hazard has said he is in "seventh heaven" playing under his idol Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid.

The Belgian winger joined Los Blancos from Chelsea for €100 million (£89 million) back in June after seven seasons at Stamford Bridge.

He netted his first goal for the club in a 1-0 pre-season win over Salzburg on Wednesday and will likely make his competitive debut for the Spanish giants in their 2019-20 La Liga opener at Celta Vigo on August 17.

Hazard, 28, said that despite enjoying great successes at Chelsea, he had no hesitation in moving to the Santiago Bernabeu, per Corriere della Sera (h/t Stephen Creek of Goal):

"As a child I dreamed of one day wearing Real Madrid's shirt. When Real knock on your door you can do only one thing: open it. At Chelsea I spent unforgettable years, but here I am in seventh heaven. One of my idols, as a child, was Zinedine Zidane. I had his poster in the room and now I have the opportunity to be trained by him."

Real endured a poor season by their high standards in 2018-19 as they came a distant third to Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in La Liga and fell short in both the Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League.

Cristiano Ronaldo was conspicuous by his absence following his departure to Juventus as Real netted just 63 goals in the league, their lowest return since 1999-2000.

Managers Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari were both jettisoned during the course of the campaign, and Zidane returned to the helm in March, just 10 months after leaving the Madrid outfit in the wake of a third consecutive Champions League win:

B/R Football @brfootball

BREAKING: Zinedine Zidane leaves Real Madrid after winning three Champions League titles in three years https://t.co/qBrRy4Hidi

As well as Hazard, Real have spent nearly £60 million on Luka Jovic, £44 million on Ferland Mendy, £44 million on Eder Militao and £40 million on Rodrygo this summer.

Given their huge outlay, Real will need to compete for the league title and Champions League again next season or Zidane's second spell in charge of the club may not last very long.

Hazard will be crucial to helping Real properly replace the goals lost by the departure of Ronaldo, who averaged 50 goals per season in his nine years at the club.

The Belgium international is unlikely to match those numbers, but he did enjoy his most effective Premier League season of his career in 2018-19 as he netted 16 goals and provided 15 assists:

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Eden Hazard for Chelsea in the 2018/2019 Premier League: most successful take-ons (137) most chances created (98) most shots taken (93) most assists (16) most goals (15) Absolutely ran the show. 🇧🇪🇧🇪🇧🇪 https://t.co/4r1tlJIWFq

A similar return for Real in the upcoming campaign would be a huge boost for Los Blancos, particularly as Hazard's influence will likely be beneficial for other attackers like Jovic and Karim Benzema.