Eden Hazard has given a revealing interview discussing his challenging start to life at Real Madrid - confirming that he did indeed arrive to pre-season significantly overweight.
Hazard's Los Blancos' career has been hampered by injury, with the Belgian making just 13 appearances in all competitions this season. The 29-year-old arrived at Santiago Bernabeu in the summer for a fee of around £90m following a lengthy transfer saga.
Hazard has admitted - in an interview with Sport Foot Magazine - that he could have signed for Real a year prior but Chelsea intervened to delay his departure.
"After the 2018 World Cup I wanted to come [to Real Madrid]. Chelsea said no. It was necessary to spend a year with Sarri," the forward said.
"In the summer of 2018 I received a call from Marina Granovskaia [a director at Chelsea]. She told me: 'Don't go, Sarri comes to train you.' I tried to do my best."
Hazard's eventual arrival last summer was the fulfilment of a lifelong dream, with the forward explaining how he formed his strong, childhood connection with Real.
"When I started playing in the home garden it was always the club I supported. Zidane was my idol. The stadium, when I saw it on television, was magical. The white shirt, impeccable, for me was exceptional," he revealed.
Hazard's start to the campaign has been challenging, with reports emerging that the former Lille star arrived a pre-season training a stone overweight - something that he confirmed was true.
"It is true. I will not hide it. When I am on vacation, I am on vacation. I am one of those who puts it on quickly and loses fast, if I pay attention," he claimed.
"When I was 18, in Lille, I weighed 72 or 73 kilos. Then, when I gained muscle mass, I went to 75. On a bad day, 77. This summer I went up to 80 kilos. I lost everything in ten days."
Hazard remains out injured and will miss Real's next two games against Sevilla and Unionistas respectively, though he is in contention to return to the Los Blancos squad when they take on Real Valladolid on 26 January.
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