As if losing to Manchester United (expected, but not like this) and losing John Terry definitively (expected, just not right at this moment) wasn’t enough to concern ourselves with over the past day or so, here’s Eden Hazard relighting the Real Madrid rumors that had gone into a short slumber (read: a few days) after Hazard laughed them off a couple weeks ago.
Hazard was talking to TeleFoot, which means we have to translate, which means that some of the meaning and nuance can get lost. Given Hazard’s easy-going personality and carefree attitude, it’s also tough to make a determination whether he truly means any of the things he says. Remember, this is the man who played with most of European football’s emotions back in 2012 as he publicly debated his next career move. Eden’s undoubtedly a more mature person now, but as he approaches his late 20s, he surely realizes that the window of opportunity for making a move to alter the balance of worldwide football is closing soonish.
“There are personal ambitions to play for other clubs, but I’m focused on Chelsea right now.”
"There are always personal ambitions to play for other clubs, dreams. But I try to focus on the present. As I said, I first have things to finish with Chelsea this year. Then, I'll go on holiday. We'll see after that. I have a contract until 2020. For the moment, I'm here, I'm good.”
Trying to put these words together with the mannerisms from the video and knowing all that we know of Hazard, my guess is he’s just indulging the interviewer and doing that whole “you never know in football” thing that almost all players do nowadays. The second part of the answer is also standard Hazard; he said almost the exact same thing in that other interview from a couple weeks ago.
Having been the subject of constant rumors for several years now, Hazard also knows how this game is played.
"When it's not PSG [Paris Saint-Germain], it's Real. And then perhaps it'll be Bayern [Munich]... Bizarrely, last year, there was no one!”
Interest from Real Madrid usually means you’re playing well, right?
Throw in a bit of mischievous journalism, like asking Karim Benzema if he thinks one of the best players in the world would make for a good teammate, and you’ve got a solid foundation for the next round of rumors.
"Hazard is a very good player. After that, what can I say about him? I haven't heard [the transfer reports], but of course he would be a good signing. He's a player I like a lot and I appreciate a lot. That's it, I wish him all the best."
-Karim Benzema; source: Telefoot via Football.London
Regardless of what may happen in the future, Hazard does seem to have his priorities in order. He may have been just one facet of Chelsea’s terrible performance on Sunday, but he seems confident enough that we’ll finish the job.
“Conte? He drives me mad sometimes on the side of the pitch. The coach is always shouting, putting the players back in position. It's also that which has made us succeed this season: it's that we give everything during games.”
"This title race? You never know with this league. It's different to Spain and Germany where you can feel safe with a seven-point lead and say to yourself, 'You're going to be champions.' If we do what we did over the last matches, we'll be champions."
Conte talked about the need for great concentration (and passion and commitment and hard work), and that will be even more true in the remaining six games (and the FA Cup as well).