Hazard is Happy at Chelsea But Says “Why Not” to a Potential Future Switch to La Liga

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard has admitted that although he is currently ‘happy’ at Chelsea, he would strongly consider a switch to La Liga in the future, a major division which the diminutive winger believes is ‘special’ – according to a report published by Spanish outlet Marca (via Club Call).

Since being rendered sidelined in June after sustaining an ankle injury, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard presumably avoided a summer transfer window frenzy for his signature from some of Europe’s biggest clubs​, including Real Madrid, who have in the past made their interest in the Belgian attacker known.

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Hazard, 26, desires to return to the fray for Antonio Conte’s outfit to help them retain the Premier League title this term and push for success in the Champions League, and despite being touted on Los Blancos’ wish-list in recent windows, he insists that he is already playing for one of the continents ‘best’ clubs, whilst not entirely ruling out a future jump to La Liga.

“At the moment I am happy in England,” he claimed. “I am playing for one of the best teams, but the Spanish league is special. Why not some day? But having said that, at the moment I am here [at Chelsea].”

Galacticos boss Zinedine Zidane is said to be a great admirer of the Blues’ number 10, and Hazard then continued to add that the Frenchman is ‘magic’, both on the pitch in his playing days, and in the technical area at the Santiago Bernabeu in the present.

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“[Zidane] has won everything as a player and a coach. He is a special guy. Everyone knows him as a player. When we think about football we think about Zidane as he could do anything on the pitch. And now, off the pitch, he has achieved great things. He is magic and I am very happy to see him.”

After winning the Champions League back-to-back for the past two seasons, Madrid are considered as the tournament favourites, and Hazard also agrees with the notion of the Spanish giants retaining their title once more.

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Zidane’s men may be seen as the ‘best team in the world’ in Hazard’s eyes, but the south west Londoners’ star man knows that the Champions League is a tough prize to win, and Chelsea, supposedly, could themselves challenge for the coveted trophy this year, as you just ‘never know’.

“I believe that, at the moment, Real Madrid are the best team in the world,” he proclaimed. “They have won everything and have good players, a great coach. The Champions League is very difficult to win. It is like the Premier League, anybody can win it. You never know.”


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Spanish Playmaker Isco Says He Wants to Remain With Real Madrid for Many Years

​After reestablishing himself in the Real Madrid set-up and forcing his way into Zinedine Zidane’s plans, Spanish attacking midfielder Isco is ready to commit his future to Los Blancos, per ​Cadena Ser.

The 25-year-old seemed very much against remaining at the Bernabeu last year and was open to considering other options because of him being made to sit out some big games early last season. An upturn in form, however, has seen him emerge as a key man under Zidane, and the fine fettle has seeped into his international performances as well.

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The midfielder found the target on two occasions against Italy on the weekend, helping Spain to a huge 3-0 win against one of the strongest defences in international football.

He is now in the final year of his contract, and although reports of a €6m five-year contract surfaced back in April, the player has yet to sign a new deal at Madrid.

Speaking whilst on duty with his country, though, Isco expressed his desire to remain at Madrid for the long haul.

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“I have always thought about being a success at Madrid, even in the moments when I was getting less playing time,” he said. 

“I knew I should not give in, and here I am today. I feel important at the moment and very comfortable, and hope to keep going like this for many years for both Madrid and Spain.”

Madrid return to action on Saturday at home against Levante, and will kick off their Champions League defence in a match against Apoel Nicosia next week.


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Premier League Duo Set to Move for Underused Real Madrid Midfielder in January

Real Madrid are set to allow midfielder Marcos Llorente to leave the club this winter, with Premier League giants Chelsea and Tottenham keen.

Talksport have reported that manager Zinedine Zidane is set to review the 22-year-old situation in January, after Llorente has struggled for game time this term.


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The Spain U21 international enjoyed a successful loan spell at Alaves last season featuring 32 times, but has struggled for game time on his return to the Bernabeu, making only one appearance of the bench against Deportivo La Coruna.

Madrid were unwilling to listen to offers in the summer but with the midfielder struggling for game time, a move away would benefit both parties with a host of clubs interested in his services. 

2017 MLS All-Star Game: Real Madrid v MLS All-Stars

As well as reported interest from the Blues and Spurs, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Liverpool, Arsenal, Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have all declared their interest in Llorente since his return to Real in the summer.

With the likes of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Casemiro in midfield paired with the talent of Isco, Dani Ceballos and Marco Asensio it is seemingly unlikely that the Spaniard will be able to force his way into the team, perhaps persuading him to exit the current La Liga champions.

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Homegrown: Zinedine Zidane & 5 Other Real Madrid Players Who Went on to Manage Los Blancos

Zinedine Zidane has worked wonders at Real Madrid. Since taking over first team duties in January 2016 as a novice at top level management, the former Ballon d’Or winner as a player became the first boss in history to lift back-to-back Champions League trophies with trophies in 2016 and 2017 – while also pipping fierce rivals Barcelona to La Liga title last season.

The pressure as a Real Madrid player is suffocating as tabloid attention and internal politics are virtually unparalleled in the capital. 

Therefore, it is very rare in the game that an ex-player will also take the hot seat as manager of the club, especially given the expectations of a club with a winning culture like Real.

However, here are six ex-Madridistas who later in their career became the man in the dugout at the Santiago Bernabeu, with varying levels of success.

1. Zinedine Zidane

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This iconic picture shows the moment Zidane wheels away in joy after a magnificent volley in the Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002 to cement his place as one of the greatest players of all time. 

As manager of Los Blancos, he has somehow enhanced his status as a football great even further by becoming the first manager to win consecutive Champions League titles, while also lifting a league title in imperious fashion and nurturing young talent like Marco Asensio.

2. Bernd Schuster

Real Madrid's German coach Bernd Schuste

An important figure in Spanish football during the eighties and early nineties, German international and European Championship winner Bernd Schuster is a rare example in La Liga of a player who featured for all of: Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atlético Madrid. 

Winning two La Liga titles and one Copa Del Rey, he was well like by the Real fans, despite his Barça past.

As a manager, Schuster spent just one full season as Real Madrid boss, helping Los Blancos to a La Liga title in 2008. However, his confrontational style and failure in Europe led to his resignation in December of his second campaign.

3. Rafa Benitez

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Rafa Benitez worked wonders as manager at Liverpool with a Champions League victory back in 2005, after surprise La Liga titles for Valencia in 2002 and 2004. However, his time as a Real Madrid man did not go quite to plan,

He started out as a young player in the Real Madrid Castilla, leaving the Santiago Bernabéu after failing to break into the first team. 

After success as a manager later in his life, he hoped to achieve what he never could as a player as the chief commander in charge of Los Blancos when appointed Real Madrid boss in 2015. 

However, he lasted only six months at the helm, and was replaced by legendary figure Zidane.

4. Vicente Del Bosque

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Iconic coach Vicente Del Bosque is a national hero after helping Spain lift their first World Cup in 2010. 

As a player at the Santiago Bernabéu, he featured in a period of dominance with Real Madrid lifting four La Liga titles, as well as four Copa del Rey trophies.

He took this form into management, as Del Bosque guided Madrid to two Champions Leagues, and as many league titles. 

Shockingly, at the height of the club’s Galactico period, this was not enough to please the Madrid board, who decided to not renew his contract after clinching the league title in 2003.

5. Jorge Valdano

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A World Cup winner in a Diego Maradona inspired Argentina side, Jorge Valdano is often overlooked as a secondary figure to greater players for both club and country. 

However, during his time at Los Blancos, Valdano performed impressively up front and bagged two La Liga trophies and two UEFA cups in the eighties.

As manager of the club between 1994 and 1996, he lifted one league crown but never earned the same status he had as a player. 

An outspoken individual, he also had a spell as director at the Santiago Bernabéu, but was moved on in 2011.

6. Alfredo Di Stefano

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Perhaps saving the best for last, Alfredo Di Stefano was a Real Madrid club great before his sad passing in 2014. 

Di Stefano created a dynasty in the capital and amassed an amazing five European Cups and eight league titles. He helped to make Real Madrid the most desired team in the world for any player by ushering in a new era of dominance through majestic play in attack.

As a manager during two separate stints, the ‘Blond Arrow’ had less success as a coach, with a terrible first spell in charge as they failed to lift a trophy between 1982 and 1984, and famously lost to a Sir Alex Ferguson led Aberdeen side in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final.

In his second spell in the 1990/91 season, Di Stefano did at least guide his team to a Supercopa de España.

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Playing the Market: 7 of the Best Ever Jose Mourinho Signings From Throughout His Career

Jose Mourinho is embarking on what could be the most crucial season in his career. 

Failure to win the Premier League with Manchester United after two seasons of financial backing could mean failure and even the sack for the Special One.

The Red Devils have started the 2017/18 season in great form and new signings Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof have all started strongly.

Here are seven times throughout his career Mourinho has lived up to his nickname and got his signings bang on.

7. Paulo Ferreira

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Paulo Ferreira was one of Mourinho’s first ever signings when at Porto. 

He bought him for £1.7m in 2002. Jose converted the young Portugal star from a right midfielder to a right back. 

Ferreira went on to win back to back league titles at Porto, a UEFA Cup and a Champions League title. In his two years at Porto he only missed two league games.

Jose was so proud of this signing that he signed him again when appointed Chelsea manager in 2004, this time though for £17m, which shows just how much Ferreira impressed at Porto. 

Once again Paulo would go on to achieve back to back league title wins and three in total. As well as four FA Cups, two League Cups, another Champions League title and another Europa League.

6. Mesut Ozil

Real Madrid CF v Athletic Club - La Liga

When Mourinho became manager of Real Madrid in 2010 he faced the mammoth task of trying to overhaul Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Barcelona. 

One of the new Madrid bosses first acquisitions was Mesut Ozil, who had shone for Germany at the World Cup, for £15m. 

In Ozil’s first season Real Madrid won the Copa Del Rey, but in the league they fell just short of Barcelona’s incredible 96 points. 

The following year, Ozil played a crucial role in the Mourinho jigsaw. Scoring four goals and getting 17 assists as Madrid amassed an incredible record breaking 100 points to wrestle La Liga title back from their greatest rivals.

5. Didier Drogba

Charlton Athletic v Chelsea

Drogba is one of the Premier League’s greatest strikers and was signed by Chelsea for £24m in 2004. 

While he had a fairly slow start to life at Stamford Bridge, it was in his third season at Chelsea that he would start to become the legend we now know him to be. 

Scoring 33 goals in all competitions and winning the golden boot that season, Drogba had the highlight of netting the only goal in a 1-0 win over Manchester United in the 2007 FA Cup Final.

He would score in many finals for Chelsea, most famously in the Champions League final of 2012, and became the archetypal Mourinho striker against which all other forwards were compared

4. Ricardo Carvalho

Chelsea v Cardiff City - FA Cup 5th Round

Having played under Mourinho at Porto originally, Carvalho played twice more for the Special One – following him to Chelsea in 2004 and Real Madrid in 2010. 

It has often been said that to win league titles you need a solid defence, and the acquisition of the Portugal international proved a shrewd move on multiple occasions for Mourinho. There is simply no way a Mourinho all-time signings XI could not feature Carvalho.

3. Lucio

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Mourinho brought in veteran Brazilian Lucio in his final (but most important) season at Internazionale in 2009 for just under £6m – an absolute bargain even if Lucio was 31 at the time.

Lucio would be pivotal that season in helping Inter achieve an historic treble ending a 45-year wait to be crowned European Champions and delivering Jose’s second Champions League title. 

If you ever want to understand what it means to play with heart and without fear just watch Lucio’s performance against Barcelona in the second leg of the semi final of the Champions League.

2. Luka Modric

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Mourinho signed the magic Croatian in 2012 for an absolute steal at around £30m.

In his first season in the Spanish capital, Modric completed the most passes in the team and in his time at Madrid, he has so far won a league title, a Copa del Rey, three Champions Leagues and voted La Liga’s best midfielder twice.

1. Ashley Cole

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What makes the Cole signing so significant? Well, in landing the Arsenal left back Mourinho and Chelsea managed to capture the greatest left back in the world, in his prime, on the cheap and get one over on their biggest rivals at the same time.

Cole may not be a well-loved figure in the game. However, what is undeniable even to his biggest critics, is his talent. 

If Mourinho’s signings can emulate the quality and success of Cole, Man Utd fans will probably be celebrating their first league title since Fergie.

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VIDEO: Real Madrid Star Marcelo Showcases His Skills in Training Tekkers Footage

Footage has emerged of ​Real Madrid Star Marcelo showcasing his awesome skills in front of goal in a training session for the La Liga giants.

Depsite the fact that the seasoned defender is embarking on his 12th season at the Bernabeu, the 29-year-old looks to be in the prime of his playing career.

The video, posted by the club’s official twitter, shows Marcelo superbly controlling a crossed ball in the box, before elegantly taking it round two defenders and slowly sliding it in the net past the keeper.

Madrid began their latest La Liga campaign with a crushing 3-0 victory over Deportivo La Coruna, but Zinedine Zidane’s side were frustrated by a stubborn Valencia side that held them to a 2-2 draw.

Zidane will hope his side can ease their way past Levante on Saturday as the Frenchman looks to put their struggle against Valencia behind them.

Real also begin their Champions League campaign against Cypriot First Division side Apoel Nicosia who travel to the Bernabeu next Wednesday.

Zidane will be looking to make history this season with a third consecutive Champions League conquest. 

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Cristiano Ronaldo is only half way through his suspension for pushing a match official in Real Madrid’s 3-1 victory over Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup. The Portugal star will miss games against Levante and Real Sociedad.

Promising youngster Marco Asensio has stepped up for Real in Ronaldo’s absence, with the 21-year-old scoring a brace in Real’s stalemate against Valencia.

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Brazil Legend Pele Sets Cristiano Ronaldo Target ‘to Score More Than 1,283 Goals’

​Brazil legend Pele has set Cristiano Ronaldo a target to match his own prolific goalscoring record.

The Real Madrid forward took his international tally to 77 with a hat-trick for Portugal against the Faroe Islands, matching Pele’s total, although in considerably more appearances.

Pele, however, has heaped praise on Ronaldo, particularly for his spectacular scissor kick goal in victory over the Faroe Islands.

“I saw the goal, It was really special,” Pele told ​Goal. “It was a really nice play.”

Pele reached his Brazil total in just 92 games, helping his nation to three world cups along the way. Ronaldo, meanwhile, has played 145 times for Portugal, last year winning the European Championship.

But Pele has admitted that football is in a very different state now than back in his most successful days as a player.

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“Of course, these are different times,” he said. “But the beautiful thing about football is the goals. And I take this opportunity to send a big greeting to Cristiano Ronaldo for that victory.”

But he couldn’t resist adding: “Now he has to score more than 1,283 goals!”

Ronaldo found it more difficult in Portugal’s last outing, a 1-0 win against Hungary in which he was fortunate to avoid a red card for a petulant kick late in the second half.

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Portugal now trail group leaders Switzerland by three points with just two games of the World Cup qualifying campaign remaining. Yet after the game, manager Fernando Santos admitted that his side had not convinced in victory over Hungary.

“We were by far the best team on the pitch for the first 30 minutes,” he said. “At the interval I told them not to lose their focus. We came back very well afterwards and we scored the goal and from then on we had control of the game, but it was always a dangerous situation.”


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Luka Modric Complai That FIFA ‘Don’t Care About Players’ After Croatia vs Kosovo Reschedule

Luka Modric has blasted FIFA officials for their handling of the rescheduled match between rivals Croatia and Kosovo stating that the organisation has shown that “they don’t care about players”. 

The match had to be abandoned on Saturday after just 22 minutes of play due to a downpour at the Maksimir Stadium which rendered the pitch unplayable. 

The teams reconvened a day later to finish the match with Croatia narrowly coming away with the win after they bombarded the Kosovo goal with chances, but it took until the 74th minute for Domagoj Vida to head home a Modric cross for the win. 

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While the win puts them two points clear of Ukraine at the top of Group I, ​Four Four Two report the Real Madrid star’s fiery account of how the events unfolded. 

He said: “Last night we got information the match will not be played. Of course, you go to bed a little later and then in the morning they woke us all up like they would in the army! Of course, we didn’t have good preparation for the match.

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“FIFA showed they don’t care about the players, the only thing that mattered to them was the match to be played.

“On Saturday, I didn’t want to play further and the referee told me he was against it from the beginning. During those 20 minutes, there were more situations for funniest home video than serious football!”

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The Croatian players will now have just one rest day before they face off against Turkey on Tuesday and Modric added that this fixture should have been moved. 

He said: “On Saturday, it was hard to play at that pitch but no one seemed to care. If they did care, they would have postponed the Turkey – Croatia game to Wednesday.”

The two sides will meet at the New Eskişehir Stadium where Croatia will look to cement their place at the top. 


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Defending Champions Real Madrid Release Champions League Squad Including Luca Zidane

Back to back Champions League winners Real Madrid have released their squad list for the 2017/18 competition. Los Blancos face a tough group consisting of Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund and APOEL.

Manager Zinedine Zidane has named a characteristically strong squad of players, which features every player in from their league squad, as well as several youngsters – including his son and third-choice goalkeeper Luca Zidane.

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11-time winners Real begin their group stage fixtures by hosting Cypriot title winners APOEL at the Santiago Bernabeu on September 13, before travelling to Dortmund on September 26.

 

See below for full squad list:

Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas, Kiko Casilla, LZidane.

Defenders: Dani Carvajal, Achraf Hakimi, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Nacho, Jesus Vallejo, Marcelo, Theo Hernandez, Alvaro Tejero, Luismi Quezada, Manu Hernando, Jose Leon Bernal.

Midfielders: Casemiro, Marcos Llorente, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, Isco, Dani Ceballos, Lucas Vazquez, Marco Asensio.

Attackers: Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Borja Mayoral, Dani Gomez, Franchu, Oscar.


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Marco Verratti Reveals What it Felt Like to Be Nutmegged by Real Madrid Star Isco

On Saturday evening, Spain gave Italy a harsh lesson in the trials and tribulations of elite international football, ending the Gli Azzurri’s incredible 11-year – 59 game – unbeaten qualification run, with a comprehensive and awe-inspiring 3-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeu.

One player who truly encapsulated La Roja’s performance, was that of Real Madrid’s enigmatic midfielder Isco, would produced a masterclass display – just ask Italian star Marco Verratti, who was left grounded in one instant by his Spanish counterpart.

​​Isco dominated the middle of the field, scoring two of Spain’s three goals to secure their lead in the World Cup qualifying group stage, and no one was more impressed than by Verratti who hailed the Real Madrid man.

I suffered a lot against Isco”, Verratti told Spanish media in the Bernabeu mixed zone.

“I was taken aback by his performance. Not even Messi has come close to that level. When I saw his nutmeg, I felt like standing up and applauding too.”

Verratti and Italy’s disappointing performance came after Iniesta’s words of praise for the PSG ace.

“He [Verratti] is an amazing midfielder. He has an amazing sense of position and we will have to be very careful when we’ll defend tomorrow night”, Iniesta said on the eve of the game.


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