When Eden Hazard was in his pomp at Stamford Bridge, he was rightly being compared to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and (at the time) Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
When the Portuguese moved on to pastures new at Juventus, the Belgian international eventually became another Galactico signing for Los Blancos and, given how well he’d played at Chelsea, much was expected.
His move to the Spanish capital has been nothing short of a disaster, with injuries playing a massive part.
However, his attitude in training may well have contributed to how poorly things have gone.
“The truth about Eden Hazard? The truth is what you see from him, he is an amazing player with awful training,” Jose Mourinho revealed on talkSPORT.
“You can only imagine what he could be with a super professional attitude in training.
“In the end, he is an amazing kid, he is an incredible family man, he looks like he doesn’t belong to this generation of players, he’s very quiet and is totally focused on family, on kids, on parents, on a very quiet life.
“But he gets onto the pitch every morning and… he doesn’t work much.
“When he gets onto the pitch you don’t see the reflection of a week of work, you just see a reflection of his talent.
“He is this amazing player and you can imagine if he was a top professional. When he went to Real Madrid I thought wow, this guy is going to the biggest club in the world and is going to feel this huge pressure to be always at the top, this guy is going to win the Golden Ball, because he is amazing.
“But in terms of his fitness, his speed, his condition, he would be a much better player [if he trained properly]. What you see is just the talent that got Eden to where he is.
“He’s had more injuries at Real Madrid, at his time with me at Chelsea he didn’t, he might have had one but it was nothing big. But in Madrid he got into this negative dynamic with his injuries and that’s probably affected him.”
It really does go to prove the maxim that talent without hard work isn’t enough. Those who go right to the very top of any profession are the men and women that are grafting throughout their careers.
It sounds like grafting was the last thing on Hazard’s mind every time there was a training session.