• News

Zola backs ‘incredible’ Eden Hazard to thrive at Real Madrid

Getty Images

Gianfranco Zola backed Eden Hazard to continue his “incredible” Chelsea form over at Real Madrid next season.

Hazard saved his best for last at Chelsea in producing his finest performances during his final campaign at Stamford Bridge.

The Belgian superstar was in scintillating form and terrorised Premier League defences with his pace and dribbling skills. In the end, he capped off his last season with Chelsea by helping them to a third-place finish in the league and Europa League glory.

Now, Real have signed him up for €100m which could eventually rise to €146m in the upcoming years.

For Hazard, though, a move to the Santiago Bernabeu has always been his dream. And his old Chelsea coach Zola, who worked as an assistant to manager Maurizio Sarri last term, reckons the 28-year-old fully deserves his big chance.

“Madrid have bought a fantastic player,” Zola told AS.

“This year he was incredible. And as a person, that’s how he is too. Chelsea lost a key player and Madrid have gained one.

“I wish him all the best and that it goes as well at Madrid as it did at Chelsea. That’s what he deserves.

“It will go well. His ability doesn’t allow for any doubts. La Liga will be good for him.

“This year, he learned a lot and improved, learned to play more with the team, improved his passing. I think he’ll do well.”

Hazard’s arrival is just one of five this summer as Los Blancos look to erase the painful memory of last season. In fact, club president Florentino Perez has spent €303m on new recruits.

The Spanish giants desperately needed some fresh talent in their ranks and new leaders.

“Last year, he [Hazard] was very good for us and he participated in close to 40% of the goals. Not just scoring but assisting too,” said Zola.

“He was really good, his numbers were incredible too.

“Some leaders speak a lot in the dressing room, on the field and others do it with actions contributing important things in games, deciding big games. He is a great player for Madrid.”

Hazard managed 21 goals and 17 assists in 52 appearances for Chelsea last season.

Hazard to Madrid is the biggest move of this transfer window so far
MADRID, SPAIN – JUNE 13: New Real Madrid signing Eden Hazard shows appreciation to the fans as he is unveiled at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on June 13, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)