Former star, Eden Hazard: I just finished one of the best seasons of my career in Chelsea

 L’Equipe had an interview with Eden Hazard, who talked about his injuries, retirement and career. Here is the full interview.


On Messi and Ronaldo
“Lionel Messi is perhaps the only player who is better than me. I loved watching him when he was at Barcelona. I didn’t like watching him much afterwards, but he is the best in history. It is impossible to take the ball away from him. Cristiano Ronaldo is a bigger player than me, but in terms of pure football, I don’t think he’s better than me. Neymar, maybe.”

On Overweight
“With Chelsea I had just finished one of the best seasons of my career. I said to myself: ‘Now that I’m at Real Madrid, this is perhaps the last vacation I’ll be able to enjoy’. And I let myself go like I let myself go every summer. Seven years in England, without a break at Christmas, giving everything, so that when I have three or four weeks of vacation “don’t bother me”: barbecues, rosé wine… all that. Then in Madrid things went wrong and that’s it.”
“I wasn’t watching what I ate but I didn’t go for a burger every day either. You can’t do that for 16 years. I didn’t think it was important. I’m a hedonist, I like to eat and drink with my friends. Dieting is bullshit, it doesn’t work.
If you want to play until you’re 40, then ok, but I knew I wouldn’t be like that. I always have some champagne in my fridge.”
“They say I was a lazy person. But I didn’t go 16 years without training. The little games, the little runs, I was there.
It’s true that some mornings I arrived without sleeping well, without desire, & when it’s like that, I show it. ‘Don’t give me the ball, I won’t move within a square meter’.”

Was Real Madrid the right club for you?
Eden Hazard: “I’ve been a Zidane fan since I was a child. The Bernabéu, the white kit… it has a charm that others don’t have. Madrid is special. Beyond that, I don’t think I fit in. It’s not like me. It’s a bit of a ‘swaggering’ club & 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.”


On Madrid Exit
“Madrid exit? It makes me sad that it ended like this. The perfect story would have been hat-trick and ciao. In Lille it ended well, in Chelsea even better. I knew it was all over in Madrid and I didn’t even want to go in.
Maybe people were already going to whistle at me. “Ouh, ouh”. You know what? Leave me on the bench, I’ll enjoy it.”

Would have you liked to have Cristiano’s mentality?

“No. It wouldn’t have been me. After training, soaking in the cold bath for an hour, no. Leave me alone, with my friends, we go home, play cards, have a beer. I play for two hours with my friends. Children in the garden. It was my recovery. If I had been like Cristiano, I would have been burned out.”

On the injuries

“The injury vs PSG? I would have liked to do things my way & succeed. This shows that Madrid is bigger than anything else. It’s difficult to play there.

Maybe I needed to train more. I also had the worst injuries in the worst moments. The operation, the plate… I’m coming back, 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.”

“One morning, when I woke up, I had a lump like this (points to a small cup) on my ankle. Infection. I’m going to have to do surgery again. I had two more years left on contract and I said to myself: ‘go ahead, try’

But I lost my place, my confidence and then my desire. I went from being hard in front of guys who were kicking my knee off, to getting up with pain from the bed… I would have liked to understand why and I couldn’t.”

Did you suffer?

“No. I’m lucky to have been in this industry and to have earned a lot of money. People fight every day, I have no right to complain, not even when I’m not playing, not even being injured saying that life sucks. Impossible.

It hurts, but on the other hand… In the end [of my career] I used it as an excuse: ‘It hurts, I really can’t do it’. I wasn’t depressed, but I didn’t feel like it anymore. It simply had neither the energy nor the strength (…) It didn’t make any sense, it was over.”


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