Jose Mourinho believes Eden Hazard “doesn’t belong to this generation of players” due to his poor work ethic in training.
Hazard made 125 appearances for Chelsea during Jose Mourinho’s time there as manager, scoring 36 goals and assisting another 30. The Belgium international lifted two Premier League titles and a host of cup titles throughout his entire stint at Stamford Bridge.
But since leaving for Real Madrid in 2019, Hazard has managed just five goals in 43 appearances across all competitions, with injuries and fitness issues hindering any sort of consistency.
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Speaking to talkSPORT, Mourinho insisted Hazard is an “amazing player” and a great family man, but suggested the 30-year-old could be so much more if he put in more effort on the training pitch.
“What you see on him. That amazing player that you see is an amazing player with awful training,” he said. “So you can imagine what he could be with a super professional attitude in training because, 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, he 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 goes onto the pitch, you don’t see the reflection of a week’s work, you just see the reflection of his talent. So he is this amazing player. And you can imagine, if he was a top professional.”
Mourinho vs Hazard feud re-ignited?
This isn’t the first time Mourinho and Hazard have appeared at odds with each other. Reports have suggested that during the final months of Mourinho’s second spell in charge of Chelsea, Hazard was one of a number of senior players who turned against the Portuguese tactician. Mourinho himself once told his players they were playing with 10 men thanks to Hazard’s lack of effort.
But the Belgian forward has since taken some responsibility for his poor form prior to Mourinho’s sacking, saying he hadn’t returned for the 2015/16 season — in which he scored just four Premier League goals — in the best physical condition.
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“In 12 years, I’ve only had one bad season, the last six months under Mourinho and it was partly my own fault. After the title, we asked Mourinho for extra holidays. I came back totally out of shape,” Hazard previously said.
At the time, Mourinho was critical of Hazard, saying: “When these comments come from a player like Eden, it is normal, because he is not the kind of player who is ready to sacrifice himself 100% for his teammates.
“At the same time, the comments were not even critical. No, I am not happy [with Hazard]. I speak with him all season and try to improve him all season.”