Hazard signs for Real Madrid after ‘biggest and toughest decision’

The Belgian, who played a key role in delivering the Europa League for Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea against Arsenal, will join the Liga club this summer after the London side announced an agreement for a five-year deal had been made.

Spanish media reports said Real paid Chelsea €100 million for the 28-year-old, who was set to become a free agent in June 2020.

“Real Madrid and Chelsea have agreed the transfer for the player Eden Hazard,” the Spanish club said. 

“The player will be tied to the club for the next five seasons, until June 30, 2024.” 

The statement added that Hazard would be officially presented at the club’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium on June 13, subject to completing a medical. 

Hazard wrote a message to his ‘Chelsea friends and family’ on his Facebook page, explaining that it was the ‘biggest and toughest decision in my career to date’ but that it had always been his dream to play for Los Blancos.

Hazard leaves Chelsea having scored twice in a 4-1 win over London rivals Arsenal in last month’s Europa League final in Baku.

The 28-year-old joined Chelsea from Lille in 2012 for £32 million and won the Europa League in his first season. He later won the Premier League title in 2015 and in 2017 as well as one League Cup and FA Cup. 

He scored 16 goals and created another 15 in the Premier League this season as Chelsea finished third in the table.

Eden Hazard celebrates scoring in the Europa League final

Eden Hazard celebrates scoring in the Europa League final-Getty Images

Hazard is Madrid’s first marquee signing since forward James Rodriguez moved to the Bernabeu for 80 million euros after finishing as top scorer at the 2014 World Cup.

But while the Colombian arrived at the then newly crowned Champions League winners, Hazard is joining a Real side in disarray after they ended the season without a trophy and having finished 19 points adrift of La Liga champions Barcelona.

Even though Madrid have craved Hazard for years, the Belgian’s arrival is just one step in a huge rebuilding process being overseen by coach Zinedine Zidane, who has already signed Serbian striker Luka Jovic and Brazilian defender Eder Militao.

Luka Jovic has agreed a six-year deal with Real Madrid

Luka Jovic has agreed a six-year deal with Real Madrid-PA Sport 

Zidane is a known admirer of the former Lille winger and will hope Hazard’s silky play and dynamic dribbling can add excitement to Madrid’s attack and boost their waning goal threat since all-time top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo left last year.

Madrid have struggled for goals since Ronaldo’s departure for Juventus, as Welshman Bale and Marco Asensio failed to successfully step up, and Hazard has come to fill that void, poised to operate from the left flank with licence to roam.

The Belgium forward’s goalscoring tallies for Chelsea have been erratic over the past few years but under the London club’s Italian coach Maurizio Sarri this season he was lethal.

At Chelsea it seems Hazard often had to do it all himself, but if Zidane’s rebuild is successful the highly talented forward will have plenty of support at the Santiago Bernabeu.

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