Eden Hazard admits it is a ‘dream’ to play for Real Madrid and reveals his contacts over a move from Chelsea began in 2016.
The Belgian international arrived from Chelsea this summer in a €100m deal but, after suffering early injury problems, has yet to hit form for his new side.
He had continually been linked with a move to the French champions, but he insisted he would never return to Ligue 1 to play for a club other than Lille – his team before moving to West London.
Hazard has become a regular starter for Los Blancos in an attacking front three which also includes the in-form Karim Benzema along with one of Rodrygo Goes, Gareth Bale or Vinicius Junior.
“It was a dream to come here. When I was very young, in my garden, Madrid was always the team I supported,” Hazard explained, in quotes cited by El Mundo Deportivo.
“Besides, there was Zidane, my idol. The stadium, when I saw it on television, it was magical. And the white jersey, impeccable…for me, they were exceptional.
“When you arrive and see the sports city, the security is huge and everything is really big. I saw the training camps. I never counted them, but there are 13! In addition, the hotel of the players…
“I think that if this club is so big it is also thanks to that. They have the best players and you feel the weight of the history. It is a culture.
“Was it frustrating not to have been able to sign before? No, because where I have gone, it went well. But it was logical that one day I would come here. If it did not materialize before it was because I wanted to try English football. I was only 21 years old and it was easier to succeed there than here, especially for a foreigner.
“My contacts with Real Madrid began two or three years ago, when I got injured with the national team. After the 2018 World Cup I wanted to come but Chelsea convinced me to stay one more season, with Sarri.
“I didn't want to go out the back door. It happened to me with Lille, when I extended by a year. I don't like to generate problems and I tried to do my best.
“Zidane fascinates me and has even some power over me. After Euro 2016 he told me: 'It would be good if you came.’ And when Zidane calls you…he loves his players and you feel that the dressing room is happy to have him as a Coach.
“The training is always with the ball. When you have experimented with Italians, as I have done with Conte or Sarri, you have much less fun. Everything is more framed.”
The 28-year-old has scored one goal for Madrid in 11 appearances this season.