Football

Pressure of Real Madrid jersey affecting Eden Hazard: Fabio Capello

Eden Hazard has struggled to deal with the weight of the Real Madrid jersey following his high-profile move from Chelsea, former Real manager Fabio Capello has said.

Hazard joined the Spanish club from Chelsea on a five-year contract for a reported 100 million euros (S$161.1m) ahead of the 2019/20 season.

The Belgium international inspired Chelsea to two English Premier League trophies during his time at Stamford Bridge but has failed to hit similar heights in Spain, with injuries limiting him to 21 appearances and just one goal this season.

"He hasn't been the player he was at Chelsea and he was injured for a long time. He hasn't adapted," Capello told Marca.

"I've always thought of him as a great player but the Real shirt weighs heavily and Hazard has sunk this year. It's clear that he'll be better next season," added the Italian, who led Real to two La Liga titles.

With Hazard struggling, Capello praised Karim Benzema for stepping up, saying he now the "benchmark" for Real after a 26-goal season. - REUTERS

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