Zinedine Zidane reckons Eden Hazard had no other choice but to leave Chelsea for Real Madrid to take his game to the next level.
After spending seven years starring down the Chelsea flanks, Hazard completed a dream €100m transfer to Real last month. He signed a five-year contract, and is relishing the prospect of playing under his idol Zidane.
The Belgium international has since travelled with his new team-mates for Real’s United States pre-season tour and will likely debut in the International Champions Cup (ICC) against Bayern Munich on Sunday.
Expectations will be huge, though, as Hazard is expected to play a big part in filling the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo last summer.
And even Los Blancos boss Zidane is anticipating great things from a player he had to go out of his way to sign this summer.
“He’s a decisive player. He scores goals and makes a difference,” said Zidane, according to Fox Sports.
“He’s shown that throughout his career and now we have him. We will take advantage of his qualities.”
Zidane then went to remark on how Hazard could emulate the Frenchman himself when he completed a then world-record €77m transfer from Juventus to Real in 2001.
“I’m very happy with him. Eden needed a club like Real Madrid to improve. This club has something special and we all know it.
“When I arrived at Real Madrid, I was 29 and I still had a lot left. I spent five years here as a player and improved things. Eden’s situation is the same.
“We know the type of player he is and that he can give us a lot.”
Hazard’s Real debut against Bayern will take place in Houston, Texas, with kick-off set for 02:00 (CET) on Sunday.
Zidane also gave his views on Gareth Bale’s future at the Santiago Bernabeu, with the Welshman seemingly set to remain at Real amid a lack of worthy suitors.