Hazard's first coach: "He always compared himself to Zidane"

In a story in The Athletic, Kristof Terreur explains how Hazard always "worshipped Real Madrid" ahead of what could be his debut at the weekend against Levante.

Hazard's first coach: "He always compared himself to Zidane"

Eden Hazard was always obsessed with Real Madrid. Kristof Terreur outlines just how much he loved the club and some of its most iconic players in a story in The Athletic ahead of what could be his official debut with on Saturday against Levante.

From playing with Real Madrid on video games, to wearing his hero, Zinedine Zidane's, number 5 in training along with always sporting some form of the club's gear, the word "worship" is mentioned. Hazard never hid his admiration and desire to play for Real Madrid and it was realised during the summer when he made the move from Chelsea. Zidane was never 

“Others talked about Man United and Barcelona in those days, but he always worshipped Real Madrid,” says Pascal Delmoitiez, general manager at Hazard’s first club, Stade Brainois.

“It really was his club. He always compared himself to Zidane, copying his trademark moves, constantly mentioning him. He was his reference.”

Despite concerns over his marketability, body shape and committment, Real Madrid made contact and started working on a deal in 2016 and once Zidane returned to the club with money to spend and with Hazard on an expiring contract at Chelsea, his move to Real Madrid was almost inevitable.

From making his mind up, to being called by Sarri to be told he was counting on him, and eventually making the decision to leave for Real Madrid, the story is one of a Belgian footballer with a dream to one day play at the Santiago Bernabéu for the home side. On Saturday against Levante, it looks like he will achieve that dream.