Eden Hazard: 'More Pleasure' in Zinedine Zidane Training Than Ex-Chelsea Coaches

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2020

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 1: (L-R) coach Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid, Eden Hazard of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League  match between Real Madrid v Club Brugge at the Santiago Bernabeu on October 1, 2019 in Madrid Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard has said moving to the club has helped him to find "pleasure" in training again. 

The Belgium international made the move to the Santiago Bernabeu last summer, having spent seven seasons with Chelsea. In his time with the Blues, he developed into one of the best players in the Premier League and departed Stamford Bridge as a club legend.

At Chelsea, his final two managers were Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri. Speaking to Sport/Foot (h/t AS, via Max Winters of the MailOnline), Hazard said working under new coach Zinedine Zidane has helped spark his enjoyment of training again.

"Our training [at Real Madrid] is always with the ball, working on movement and patterns," he said. "When you meet Italian coaches, like me [Conte and Sarri], you have much less pleasure. It is more framed and repetitive. You find pleasure in victory. I spent three years with Italian managers so rediscovering this pleasure does me good."

AS shared the front page featuring Hazard and provided further lines from the interview in question:

While Hazard arrived at Madrid with a reputation as one of the best players in the world, it's been a disappointing start to life at the club.

His debut was delayed due to injury, and Hazard took a while to perform to his best when he did return to fitness. Just when he had started to find his rhythm, the Belgium international was hit with another injury blow and is currently sidelined due to a crack in his foot.

It means Hazard has been limited to just seven La Liga starts for his new club, with one goal and one assist to his name in the Spanish top flight so far.

On his 29th birthday, BT Sport looked back at some of the winger's best moments for the Blues in European competition:

Squawka Football provided the numbers behind what was an exceptional seven-year stint with the Blues:

His final season at Chelsea was under Sarri, who was renowned for his meticulous tactical approach and structure. Hazard was the one player within the setup who was afforded consistent freedom, and he delivered, notching 16 goals and 15 assists in the Premier League.

Hazard said he's frustrated he's not been able to reach those levels in Spain yet. "The first two months, what I did was not enough," noted the Madrid star. "I said to myself: 'I can do better.' I really felt better after. I don't do everything right, but I try. The first two months, I said to myself: 'You are new, be simple.'"

Madridistas will be hoping Hazard can get up to speed quickly when he returns from injury and give the team a boost as they chase major honours in 2020, with the club in contention for La Liga and still in the UEFA Champions League.

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