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Hazard: I Won’t Leave Real Madrid As Failure

Hazard: I Won’t Leave Real Madrid As Failure

Eden Hazard has said that “it didn’t occur to me for a second” to leave Real Madrid this summer after two injury-hit seasons at the Bernabeu, insisting that “I won’t leave there as a failure.”

Hazard played a part in Belgium’s 3-0 win over Russia in their Euro 2020 group opener on Saturday in St Petersburg, coming off the bench after 72 minutes.

He has only started two matches for Real Madrid since January, the last being a 2-0 Champions League semifinal defeat to Chelsea on May 5, after a series of muscular injuries severely limited his impact in 2020-21.

“I’m only myself when I can enjoy myself on the pitch. That hasn’t happened in the last two years at Madrid,” Hazard told Belgium’s Het Nieuwsblad. “If you have one or two injuries you can flip the switch, you recover to come back stronger, but if it’s five, six, seven it’s much more difficult mentally. But I keep going.”

The 30-year-old’s debut season at the Bernabeu was affected by two ankle fractures — the first in November 2019, before a second which required surgery in March 2020 — which saw him play just 16 La Liga games, scoring once.

The 2020-21 campaign was just as frustrating for the midfielder, as hamstring, calf and thigh muscle injuries left Hazard unable to find his best form.

“It didn’t occur to me for a second that it would be better for me to leave,” Hazard said. “I won’t leave there as a failure. I only want to show that I’m made for Real Madrid. The last two years have been difficult, I’ve been at Madrid without really being at Madrid, you know… We’ve played in a stadium without fans, and I signed to play at a full Bernabeu.”

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