Zola: "Hazard always told me he's at his best when he's having fun"

The former Chelsea player and coach spoke to As about the Eden Hazard signing and his role in Zinedine Zidane's new project at Real Madrid.

Entrevista a Gianfranco Zola en Diario AS: "Hazard siempre me decía que rinde mejor si se divierte".

Gianfranco Zola spoke to As about Real Madrid's newest galactico, Zidane's new project at the club and how Hazard will fit into the team and dressing room.

You look good. Do you still play a bit?

No, not much. I have a bad back and other physical problems. I don't play as much as before...

At any time in your career, did you have the chance to sign with Madrid? 

No, I never had the chance. It's a great club and everyone would like to play with them, and to have this opportunity.

What do you think Hazard, under Sarri last year, signing with Madrid?

Madrid have bought a fantastic player. 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.

And how is he as a person?

Really nice, really humble. Very reserved, but good, he always like to be having a laugh. Despite having so much ability, he is really modest.

And in the dressing room? 

Really good. Very easy-going. Sometimes player, with such quality, can be a bit arrogant or negative but with Hazard, that's not the case.

Is he better than you were?

It's tough to make comparisons but if I had to choose, I'd pick him.

How do you see his future at Madrid?

"El mejor consejo que le puedo dar es que sea siempre como ha sido"


It will go well. His ability doesn't allow for any doubts. LaLiga 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.

Can he be the leader in Zidane's new project?

Last year, he was very good for us and he participated in close to 40% of the goals. Not just scoring but assiting too. 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 Madird.

What advice would you give him?

The best advice I can give is to keep doing what he has been doing. The rest will come. We had many debates about football and he always told me that he performs better when he is having fun, that his best arrives when he is enjoying himself. I hope he enjoys it at Madrid. If he does, the rest will happen naturally.

In what position can he do that? 

His position is on the wing, although I think he can also play as a false nine. He could do it because he is strong and quick. But he prefers to play in the left.