Eden Hazard has lifted the lid on his long-anticipated switch to Real Madrid, and revealed that one ex-Chelsea star was influential in convincing the Belgian to ditch the blue of Chelsea for the white of Los Blancos.
The 28-year-old was a perennial player of the year candidate during his time in London, with his mesmeric performances and lightning-quick feet spearheading Chelsea to six major trophies in seven years.
Following an impressive three-goal showing at the 2018 World Cup, rumours were rife that the Belgian would finally make the move to Spain, but surprisingly, Hazard stayed for one more year.
Now, speaking to Real Madrid TV (via Goal.com) the diminutive forward has revealed that the decision was in fact made to join Real in 2018, with the club indulging the player’s request providing he stayed for one final year.
“I’d already made my mind up after the World Cup and I said to myself: ‘I have to join Real Madrid now’,” said Hazard.
“That wasn’t possible and I spent another year at Chelsea and that made my departure easier. The club understood it and allowed me to leave.”
Hazard’s move to the Spanish capital followed in the footsteps of fellow Belgian Thibaut Courtois who joined for a fee believed to be around the €35m mark.
It’s now been revealed that it was encouraging words from Courtois bigging up the prospect of joining Los Blancos that was instrumental in Hazard’s decision to finally push for the switch.
“My dream was always to play for Real Madrid, the greatest team in the world, and so far I’m happy,” stated Hazard.
“Courtois always told me that this was the best club.
“I also spoke to [Luka] Modric and got the impression that they all wanted to see me at Real Madrid and it finally happened.”