Not spared from injuries since his arrival at Real Madrid in 2019, Eden Hazard wants to prove that he has the stature for this club.
Much was expected of Hazard when he arrived at Santiago Bernabeu from Chelsea for a record € 100million in June 2019.
Sadly, the 30-year-old failed to live up to the award due to a string of injuries, and he shared his frustrations with being present at Euro 2020 with Belgium.
“I’m only myself when I can have fun on the pitch. That hasn’t happened in the last two years at Madrid,” Hazard told Het Nieuwsblad.
“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 a lot harder mentally. But I keep going.”
Asked if he had ever considered leaving Real, the ex-Chelsea winger replied: “It didn’t occur to me for a second that I had better go.
“I won’t leave there as a failure. I just want to show that I am made for Real Madrid.
“The last two years have been difficult, I’ve been to Madrid without really being in Madrid, you know … We played in a stadium without supporters, and I signed to play in a full Bernabeu.”
Hazard was limited to just 43 appearances in all competitions in his first two seasons at Real, while missing a total of 60 games due to injury.
The Belgium international has just five goals and six assists to date, but won La Liga in 2019-20.
Hazard then responded to the criticism he received after being seen laughing with Chelsea duo Edouard Mendy and Kurt Kouma after Real were beaten 2-0 by the Blues in their semi-final second leg. Champions League final at Stamford Bridge last season.
Los Blancos were ultimately eliminated 3-1 and Hazard saw his loyalty to the Madrid club called into question, but he claims the incident was disproportionate.
“It was bad, yeah,” he said when asked to remember the photos. “What [Edouard] Mendy and [Kurt] Zouma said wasn’t even funny … If there was one game I wanted to win it was against my old club Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
“I was surprised when I saw the pictures. I received phone calls [de coéquipiers du Real Madrid]. But honestly, it’s a good group of players, that’s one of the reasons I want to stay, the atmosphere is awesome. “