Eden Hazard has admitted to having mixed emotions after Real Madrid’s La Liga triumph, insisting the 2019-20 campaign has been “the worst season” of his career to date.
Much was expected of Hazard when he completed a €100 million (£91m/$114m) move to Santiago Bernabeu from Chelsea last summer.
The Belgium international was initially seen as the natural successor to Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Juventus in 2018, but he hasn’t quite been able to live up to that billing during his debut season in La Liga.
A string of niggling injuries have hampered the 29-year-old’s progress in Madrid, and he has been restricted to just 21 appearances in all competitions for Zinedine Zidane’s side over the past year.
Hazard has only scored once during that period, with his former Chelsea team-mate Cesc Fabregas of the opinion that the winger has been a “little self-conscious” since his arrival at the Bernabeu.
The Belgian winger became a Liga champion last week, as Madrid secured a 2-1 home win over Villarreal to wrestle the top-flight crown away from arch-rivals Barcelona.
However, Hazard is not completely satisfied with his contribution, and has therefore been unable to fully revel in the club’s domestic success.
“This year, we collectively won this league title, but I have surely had the worst season of my career individually.”
Asked to discuss Zidane’s role in Madrid’s run to a 34th top-flight crown, Hazard responded:
“We all know Zidane as a player, he was the best. As a coach, we don’t even need to describe him anymore. He has shown, in just a few years, that he is already one of the best coaches.
“As a coach, he is like when he was a player. He is a simple person who knows how to say things at the right time. He trusts his players and his players trust him, that’s why it works.”