Speaking after Chelsea's weekend win over Southampton, Eden Hazard once again talked publicly of his long-held desire to play for Real Madrid.
Just in case there were any lingering doubts, Eden Hazard has dispelled them once and for all: "Real Madrid is the best club in the world," the Chelsea star told the media after the Blues' Premier League win over Southampton on Sunday. "I don't want to lie today. It [playing for Real] is my dream since I was a kid."
Not the first time Hazard has publicly flirted with Real Madrid
His words will reverberate around Stamford Bridge and excite a Real Madrid fanbase so in need of good news in these moments of crisis at the Bernabéu, but the player's ambition is one thing; that it becomes a reality is quite another. Because this is hardly the first time that the Belgium international, or a member of his camp, has openly cast an admiring glance at the European champions.
In the past couple of years, Hazard has flirted with Los Blancos on several occasions. "If Real Madrid want me, they know what they need to do do," he said in June, before telling a later interview during the World Cup that playing for Real is "everyone's dream", adding: "Zidane or no Zidane, the white jersey is special."
Real move might have happened had Zidane stayed - Hazard Sr
This final remark came after the resignation of Zinedine Zidane, who Hazard idolised as a child, as Real boss. The admiration is mutual: the coach has frequently spoken in glowing terms of the 27-year-old, doing so even long before his spell in the Bernabéu dugout, when the winger was just beginning to catch the eye at Lille.
And after the close of a summer window in which Hazard was strongly tipped to replace Cristiano Ronaldo at Real, the player's father pointed to Zidane's exit as he discussed the move's failure to materialise once more. "I can't say why the transfer didn't happen," Thierry Hazard said. "It's not because he didn't want it.
"Perhaps Real Madrid now have a transfer policy that's focused on giving opportunities to youngsters. It might have been a different story if Zidane had stayed on as Real Madrid coach, but he'll have had his reasons for leaving."
Hazard-Real Madrid: All talk so far, but...
So far, the relationship between Hazard and Real Madrid has been limited to public declarations that have never come to anything concrete. Perhaps now it'll be different. The Belgian, who is in the form of his life at Chelsea, has made it clear that he intends to pull on the Real shirt in the near future.