Eden Hazard has issued an apology for laughing with Chelsea players on the pitch following Real Madrid’s Champions League exit.
Madrid crashed out of Europe’s elite competition after losing the second leg of their semi-final tie 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, with Timo Werner and Kai Havertz grabbing the goals for the hosts.
Hazard didn’t seem particularly bothered by the final result, though, as he was seen joking with Chelsea duo Kurt Zouma and Edouard Mendy as the players left the pitch, with the Spanish press subsequently singling him out for criticism.
What’s been said?
The Belgian winger has taken to social media to respond to the media storm, having seen his commitment to Madrid’s cause called into question.
“I am sorry. I have read a lot of opinions about me today and it wasn’t my intention to offend Real Madrid fans,” Hazard wrote on Instagram.
“It has always been my dream to play for Real Madrid and I came here to win.
“The season is not over and together we must now battle for La Liga. Hala Madrid!”
Hazard’s miserable return to Stamford Bridge
Hazard, who called time on his seven-year career at Chelsea to join Madrid in a €100 million (£87m/$121m) deal in 2019, had to make do with a substitute role in the first leg of the last four tie between the two clubs last week, which ended 1-1.
Zinedine Zidane restored the winger to his starting XI for the trip to west London, though, and he played 89 minutes of the crunch Champions League clash before being replaced by Mariano Diaz.
Unfortunately, Hazard was unable to affect the game in any meaningful way as Chelsea picked the Blancos off on the counter-attack, with Werner scoring with a close-range header in the first half and Havertz tapping in the second goal of the game late on.
The Blues can now look forward to an all-English showpiece against Manchester City in Istanbul later this month, while Hazard and Co must now refocus ahead of Madrid’s final four games in the La Liga title race.
Hazard’s record for Madrid in 2020-21
Hazard has been plagued by injuries during his first two seasons at Santiago Bernabeu and has thusly only been able to show flashes of the brilliance that saw him emerge as one of the top players in Europe at Chelsea.
The Belgium international has been restricted to just 18 appearances across all competitions so far this term and has only three goals to his name.