Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 3 April 2020

Eden Hazard eager to bounce back from 'bad' debut season at Real Madrid

Injuries have severely limited the Belgian to 15 appearances

Eden Hazard, centre, fractured his right ankle playing for Real Madrid against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League in November. AFP
Eden Hazard, centre, fractured his right ankle playing for Real Madrid against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League in November. AFP

Belgian forward Eden Hazard believes his first season at Real Madrid has been "bad" but has vowed to overcome his injuries and prove himself a success for the Spanish giants.

Hazard, 29, was Madrid's marquee summer signing in June when he completed a transfer from Premier League club Chelsea that could be worth up to £130 million (Dh568m).

However, injuries have severely limited his impact during his debut season, with Hazard making 15 appearances and scoring just one goal as Madrid supporters have been denied the opportunity to witness the brilliance that established him as one of the best footballers in Europe during seven years at Chelsea.

When Hazard will make a return to manager Zinedine Zidane's lineup this season will depend on when La Liga returns following an enforced suspension brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

"My first season at Madrid has been bad but not all of it," Hazard said in an interview with RTBF. "It's been a season of adaptation. I'll be judged on the second one.

"It's up to me to be in good shape next year. The group is good; it's been a great experience for me. I still have four years on my contract."

Meanwhile, the postponement of the European Championships to 2021 is a "shame", according to Hazard, but he admits it allows him more time to get fully fit following the ankle injury that has kept him sidelined since February.

"We'll have another year in 2021, which is a shame, but my ankle will allow me to get back in shape," he said.

"I think it's difficult for the fans because they want to see an international tournament every summer, which is a shame for them. But I also think there are priorities in life."

Updated: March 26, 2020 02:44 PM

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