“He’s never been a top pro.”
Damien Duff has criticised Real Madrid winger Eden Hazard for a lack of professionalism, saying if the Belgian was a “top pro” he would be widely regarded as among the top three footballers in the world, alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Duff made the comments following the Champions League semi-final first leg between Real Madrid and Chelsea, which finished 1-1 in the Spanish capital. Hazard came on as a second-half substitute for the home side, but didn’t make an impact against his former team.
Eden Hazard at Real Madrid.
Hazard has experienced a nightmare two seasons since joining Real Madrid from Chelsea in a deal worth a potential €146m in the summer of 2019. The Belgium captain, 30, has been plagued by injuries.
He has only played 38 times for Zinedine Zidane’s side and has scored just four goals. Hazard, who was rarely injured during his time with Chelsea, has missed 45 matches through injury since joining Madrid.
Eden Hazard's feeling good after facing his former club 😉 pic.twitter.com/hYeI4vJHlh
— Champions League on CBS Sports (@UCLonCBSSports) April 27, 2021
The winger is, without question, one of the most talented footballers in world football. But, due to his injury issues, Duff feels Hazard may be in decline and unable to recapture his brilliant form from his Chelsea days.
The former Republic of Ireland coach was critical of Hazard’s work ethic and said he lacks the “drive” to be a “top pro.”
Damien Duff criticises Eden Hazard.
“You’d worry for him going forward,” Duff said on RTÉ on Tuesday night.
“He’s 30, he relies on sharpness, being a quick dribbler. We all know after 30, it’s like that (points downwards, indicating players decline at that age).
“He’s never been a top pro and he’s never had the drive of Messi and Ronaldo. If he did, you’d probably be mentioning him with them two players.
“He turned up for his first pre-season at Real Madrid, (a) Galactico, 160 million, overweight. Fat. Call it what you want.
Duff: Eden Hazard didn’t join Real Madrid in good physical condition.
“So, you’d worry for him, because he’s had 11 injuries and to come back from 11 injuries. And he’s hardly played in two years. You need to have drive, you need to be a top pro. And I hate aiming it at a player, but it’s always been aimed at him anyway.”
“You could argue that throughout his career, he’s always battled with his weight…
“To be signed by Real Madrid, 160million, you turn up to pre-season in the shape of your life. And he turned up overweight because he was on holiday. I ain’t having that.”
You can watch Duff speak about Hazard below.