Chelsea star Eden Hazard has offered glowing praise of Zinedine Zidane and reigning Spanish and European champions Real Madrid while hinting a future move to Spain.
Hazard has regularly been linked with Madrid and Barcelona and has often cited Zidane as one of his idols as a youngster.
The 26-year-old Belgium international insists he is happy with life at Stamford Bridge but admits playing in Spain’s top flight is an attractive proposition.
“At the moment, I’m good in England,” he told Marca. “I play for one of the best teams, but yes, LaLiga is special. Of course, for the moment, I’ll stay here.”
He added on Zidane and Madrid: “He has won everything both as a player and as a coach. He’s a special type. Everyone knows about him as a player, when we think of football we think of Zidane because he could do anything on the pitch.
“Even now, off the pitch, he has achieved great things. He’s magical and I’m very happy to see him on the touchline.
“I think at this moment Real Madrid are the best team in the world. They have won everything and have good players and a great coach. Now, the Champions League is very hard to win. As in the Premier League, anyone can win it. You never know.”
Reigning Premier League champions Chelsea endured a difficult start to the season when they lost at home to Burnley, but back-to-back victories over Tottenham and Everton restored some confidence prior to the international break.
Head coach Antonio Conte invested heavily during the transfer window, signing Alvaro Morata in a reported club-record £55.8million deal as well as bringing in Tiemoue Bakayoko, Willy Caballero, Antonio Rudiger and the double deadline-day acquisitions of Danny Drinkwater and Davide Zappacosta.
Hazard, who is yet to play for the Blues this term after fracturing his ankle in June, is excited by the prospect of playing alongside Morata and says time will tell if their squad is stronger than last year.
“I’ve never played with him but I’m looking forward to it,” he said of Morata. “He is still very young, but he has won many titles with Juventus and Madrid, so he has a lot of experience.
“We need this type of player, one who can score many goals, and Alvaro can do that. We are happy with him, he is a good person, he’s talkative, even in English. We are looking forward to playing together.
“We won the league last year, so if we repeat that this year then we can say that the team is stronger. We have lost some important players, but that’s compensated with the new arrivals. We will see, adapting to the new squad and trying to win games.”
Hazard also revealed his special nickname for Cesc Fabregas, who returned from a one-game ban against Everton and scored his side’s first goal in their 2-0 win.
“Cesc is the master. I call him ‘The Master’ because he does what he wants. He can put the ball behind the defensive line, he can score big goals. He understands football very well,” Hazard added.