‘It’s always good to play against friends’ – Hazard cherishes Chelsea reunion in Real Madrid cameo



The Belgian faced his former side on Tuesday for the first time since leaving Stamford Bridge in 2019

Real Madrid winger Eden Hazard was happy to see the field against his old side Chelsea in a Champions League encounter on Tuesday.

Hazard became one of Chelsea’s all-time greats over seven seasons with the club, and Tuesday was his first chance to face the Blues since leaving Stamford Bridge in 2019. 

The Belgian played the final 25 minutes as Madrid and the Blues drew 1-1 in their semi-final first leg at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium.

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What was said?

“It’s always good to play against friends, I have a couple friends over there,” Hazard told BT Sport. “But now I am a Real Madrid player so I just want to win – it doesn’t matter if it’s Chelsea against us or another team.”

“They have good players. I know all of them, almost, so I’m not surprised,” Hazard added to CBS Sports. “They have good players, they can play football. But we knew it, we prepared the game for that. And I think with a bit more luck, we could have scored more goals, but them as well.

“We have big players on the team and big players can always produce something. So we have the mentality to win everything. So like I said just before now we have another game, second leg over there. We’ll have to push to win the game.”

On Tuesday’s result, he added: “Could be worse, could be better. You know, 1-1 is a fair result I think tonight.”

The bigger picture

Hazard made his mark at Stamford Bridge after joining from Lille in 2012.

The Belgian led Chelsea to two Premier League titles, two Europa League titles and one FA Cup during his time at Stamford Bridge. 

He was also named the PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2014–15, and was runner-up for that award on two other occasions. 

After moving to Madrid, Hazard has failed to live up to expectations as he’s been plagued by a series of injury troubles. 

Tuesday’s game was only Hazard’s 15th of the season in all competitions, having recently returned from a muscle injury that had kept him out since March.

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