I’m not sure who thought it would be a good idea (I’m guessing it’s Nike, based on the specific question about the boots) to have Eden Hazard sit down for an exclusive interview with Marca journalists Alberto Rubio and Francisco Villegas (this happened sometime early last week, before the Champions League draw and Transfer Deadline Day) — gee, I wonder if they will ask about Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane even though we’ve spent the last five years denying that anything will ever happen in that regard, and if whatever Hazard answers will then be used as sensationalist headlines — but sit down he did and headlines were thus made.
You can watch the interview above, and see the associated headline below. Even though Hazard talks about a wide variety of topics, it is of course his comment on Zidane, his childhood idol, that gets the attention from Marca.
So, other than acknowledging Zidane’s obvious greatness and legacy and reputation — when you think about football, you think about Zidane — what else did Hazard talk about?
He talked about being happy at Chelsea (Do you want to play in La Liga one day? is the question posed)
“For the moment, I’m good in England. I play in one of the best clubs in England. Sure, the Spanish league is special, so why not, but for the moment, I’m here.”
He talked being back soon, perhaps as soon as after the international break, which should be an expectation after starting one of the games and making a substitute appearance in the other for Belgium over the past week.
“Soon, I hope. Now I’m in good condition. I will be back soon [but] no rush.”
He talked about constantly improving but not focusing on the Ballon d’Or and other such individual accomplishments.
“I can improve everything. Even the best players in the world have to improve, because football is always improving as well. I can score more goals, I can make more assists, I can dribble more, I can understand football more ... I can improve in every aspect.”
“Why not [win the Ballon d’Or]? But I don’t play for this; I just play to be happy on the pitch. If I can win trophies it’s good for me, but it’s not my objective. Yes, if I win the [Ballon d’Or], I will be happy and my family will be happy, but I don’t play for this.”
He talked about Antonio Conte and about how competitive the Premier League is.
“In the Premier League, almost six-seven clubs can win the league. So every week you have to be ready for the fight, because every week you can lose. If you are ready, you win the game; I you’re not ready, you lose the game. It’s not just about one club; it’s about a lot of clubs. We will see at the end who is the best team.”
“You know [Conte] now. Everyone knows him. He’s a good manager. We won together last year. He has a lot of experience. He’s focused on the game. He likes to work hard, so that is the key to the season.”
He talked about wanting to win the Champions League.
“For me, I want to win everything. But yeah, the Champions League is special because I’ve never won it. I just reached the semifinal four years ago, so I want to play a Champions League final. And then, why not win the final?”
“In this moment, Real Madrid are the best team in the world because they won everything and they have good players and good managers. But the Champions League is very difficult to win. It’s like the Premier League, anyone can win it, you never know.”
Hazard also talks about each of Chelsea’s Spaniards — Azpilicueta (good captain, great friend), Alonso (special left foot), Cesc (whom he calls ‘The Master’), Pedro (es un ‘crack’), Morata (looking forward to playing with him), and Diego as well (top player and top person and would like to see him back at Chelsea) — all expected, media-friendly answers. He’s also asked about Neymar and Belgium’s ambitions for next summer. You can take a good guess what his answers to those might before watch or reading the interview interview.
In fact, it’s all fairly standard fare, even with Hazard’s generally carefree attitude that sometimes leads him into strange circumstances like wearing a PSG top innocently in post-match on camera interviews.
But that attitude is part of why we love him so. Never leave us, Eden.