Real Madrid Vs Chelsea – Match In Pictures
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Eden Hazard will never reach the levels of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo because of his poor attitude and lack of focus. That is the opinion of former Chelsea winger Damien Duff, who has slammed the Belgian star for his lack of professionalism after an underwhelming start at Real Madrid.
Hazard joined Los Blancos from Chelsea in July 2019 for a fee that could rise to £130million, but has made just 38 appearances for the club so far.
The Belgian attacker has struggled for fitness over the past two years, suffering a succession of injuries which have limited his impact for Zinedine Zidane’s side.
The 30-year-old has started just nine matches in total this season, contributing three goals and one assists across all competitions.
Hazard came off the bench in Real’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Chelsea on Tuesday but failed to hurt his former club as the Blues claimed a creditable 1-1 draw in Madrid.
That cameo was Hazard’s third appearance since January and Duff believes that he will struggle to find top form in La Liga because he lacks the off-the-pitch qualities which define the world’s best players.
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“You’d worry for him going forward,” Duff told Irish outlet RTE.
“He’s 30, he relies on sharpness, being a quick dribbler. We all know after 30 it’s downhill. “He’s never been a top pro and he’s never had the drive of (Lionel) Messi and (Cristiano) Ronaldo. If he did, you’d probably be mentioning him with them two players.
“He turned up for his first pre-season at Real Madrid – Galactico, €160million – overweight. Fat. Call it what you want.
“You’d worry for him, because he’s had 11 injuries and to come back from 11 injuries – and he’s hardly played in two years – you need to have drive, you need to be a top pro.
“You could argue that throughout his career, he’s always battled with his weight.
“To be signed by Real Madrid, €160million, you turn up to pre-season in the shape of your life. And he turned up overweight because he was on holiday. I ain’t having that.
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“I hate aiming it at a player, but it’s always been aimed at him anyway.”
Accusations about Hazard’s professionalism and attitude in the close-season are nothing new. The Spanish media have frequently attacked him, while the Belgian has previously admitted to such problems at the start of 2015/16 season with Chelsea.
“I have had one bad year – the last six months under [Jose] Mourinho and it was partially my own doing,” he told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws in 2018.
After winning the title, we asked Mourinho for extra holidays,” he explained.
“I was totally out of shape at the start of the season, I remembered that lesson this summer, four weeks after the World Cup, I was back in training at Chelsea.”
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