Hazard will make the difference at Real Madrid – Courtois

By Sports Desk June 08, 2019

Eden Hazard will make the difference at Real Madrid and help lead the LaLiga giants to many titles next season, according to Thibaut Courtois.

Hazard joined Madrid from Premier League side Chelsea on a five-year deal on Friday for a fee that could reportedly rise to €140million.

The Belgium international attacker won two Premier League titles and as many Europa League crowns during his time at Chelsea, where he played alongside Courtois before the star goalkeeper left for Madrid in 2018-19.

And Courtois – whose first season in Madrid resulted in a third-place finish in LaLiga – is expecting big things from Hazard at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"If he speaks a little Spanish, it will be even better," Courtois said following Belgium's 3-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win over Kazakhstan on Saturday.

"It's very nice that we're going to be together. He's my friend, I get along very well with him and his family.

"For Madrid it's going to be fantastic. I think [Hazard] is going to make the difference and I hope we can win many titles next season."

Belgium team-mate and Napoli forward Dries Mertens also praised Hazard following his move to Madrid.

"I'm happy for him, it's a good step forward," Mertens, who scored against Kazakhstan, said post-match. "He's already one of the best players in the world, and now he has to take advantage of his opportunities to become the best of all."

Hazard – who led Chelsea to Europa League glory this season – is the fourth new arrival at Zinedine Zidane's Madrid ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

The 28-year-old follows Eder Militao, Luka Jovic and Rodrygo Goes to the Spanish capital club, with Madrid also reportedly eyeing Lyon full-back Ferland Mendy, Manchester United star Paul Pogba and Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar.

Related items

  • I do not know anything - James still in dark over Real Madrid future I do not know anything - James still in dark over Real Madrid future

    James Rodriguez remains in the dark about his Real Madrid future amid links with an array of European clubs.

    The 27-year-old spent the past two seasons on loan with Bayern Munich but has informed the Bundesliga champions he is not interested in a permanent transfer.

    James, who is on Copa America duty with Colombia, has now been tipped to find a new club ahead of the 2019-2020 campaign.

    Juventus and Napoli are rumoured to be in the running to sign him, while Premier League duo Liverpool and Manchester United have also been linked, but the playmaker is unsure where he will end up.

    "I really don't know anything yet," James told Marca following Colombia's 2-0 win over Argentina on Saturday.

    James played the full 90 minutes of Colombia's Group B opener in Salvador and set up Roger Martinez's strike, which Duvan Zapata added to late on.

    But the former Monaco ace has warned his team-mates not to get carried away in their pursuit of a first Copa America triumph since 2001.

    "We played well," he said. "We were very solid. It was a very physical game and it's a good day for all Colombians. When we're united it's much easier for everyone.

    "We have to be calm and cautious. There's a lot of football left and we have to be careful in our next games. We can't go into a state of euphoria."

  • How does Sarri compare to Chelsea bosses under Abramovich? How does Sarri compare to Chelsea bosses under Abramovich?

    Chelsea are seeking yet another manager in the Roman Abramovich era following Maurizio Sarri's switch to Serie A champions Juventus.

    Frank Lampard is widely reported to be first choice to take charge at Stamford Bridge, with the former Chelsea midfielder set to return after a single season gathering managerial experience in the Championship with Derby County.

    Sarri was far from universally popular with Chelsea fans despite winning the Europa League, reaching the EFL Cup final and finishing third in the Premier League.

    But how does he compare with Chelsea's many other managers under Russian billionaire Abramovich? Omnisport crunches the Opta numbers to find out.


    CLAUDIO RANIERI

    When Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003, Ranieri was the man in the Stamford Bridge dugout - but he left the following year. The genial Italian won 61 per cent of his matches in charge under Abramovich as Chelsea - who bought players including Damien Duff, Joe Cole, Claude Makelele, Juan Sebastian Veron and Hernan Crespo in a spending spree - finished second in the Premier League behind Arsenal's Invincibles. Chelsea also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League that year but Ranieri's decisions in a defeat to Monaco were questioned.


    JOSE MOURINHO

    Announcing himself as a "special one" on his arrival, Mourinho justified his own lofty billing by leading the club to the Premier League title, as well as the EFL Cup. They got to the last four of the Champions League again only to be beaten by Liverpool thanks to a controversial Luis Garcia goal. The Blues defended their Premier League title the next season but were unseated by Manchester United in 2006-07, although Mourinho led them to triumphs in both domestic cups. A poor start to 2007-08, including a Champions League draw at home to Rosenborg, saw Mourinho leave the club.

    He returned in 2013 and Chelsea won the Premier League again in his second season in charge, as well as collecting another EFL Cup. But he left once more in December 2015, with his win ratio across both spells at the club, in all competitions, standing at an excellent 63.6 per cent.


    AVRAM GRANT

    In Mourinho's first spell at Stamford Bridge, Abramovich's appointment of Grant in a technical role reportedly led to tensions and the Israeli was then installed in the dugout. Despite being unpopular with fans, Grant steered Chelsea to the final of the EFL Cup, when they were beaten by Tottenham, and they finished second in the Premier League. Somewhat improbably, Grant's Chelsea also reached the Champions League final but they lost to Manchester United on penalties after John Terry's slip.


    LUIZ FELIPE SCOLARI

    Former Brazil boss Scolari, who led them to World Cup glory, failed to complete a single season at Chelsea as they sacked him in February 2009 citing "deteriorating" results. Scolari won just 55.6 per cent of his games in charge of Chelsea.


    GUUS HIDDINK

    Then-Russia coach Hiddink arrived as a temporary successor to Scolari and took Chelsea to the semi-finals of the Champions League, where they lost to Barcelona. They won the FA Cup final in his last game in charge but despite being popular with fans and players, he did not stay on.

    Hiddink was a natural choice to return when Mourinho left a second time and a 12-game unbeaten run helped the Blues finish in the top half of the Premier League. Despite this, his win ratio across his two periods at Chelsea stands at just 53.1 per cent.


    CARLO ANCELOTTI

    Ancelotti arrived in 2009 and Chelsea pipped United to the Premier League title in his first season, adding the FA Cup to seal a domestic double. But United beat Chelsea in Europe and the Premier League in the following campaign and Ancelotti was dismissed even though his 61.5 per cent win ratio in all competitions was admirable.


    ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS

    Like Mourinho, Villas-Boas joined from Porto but he could not match his compatriot's success. With Chelsea outside the top four in the Premier League, he was sacked in March 2012 with a win ratio of 47.5 per cent - the lowest of any Blues boss in the Abramovich era.


    ROBERTO DI MATTEO

    Another temporary manager, Di Matteo moved up from being assistant to Villas-Boas and the Italian oversaw victory in the FA Cup final against Liverpool. Di Matteo also managed Chelsea to a remarkable defeat of Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Champions League, then Didier Drogba's penalty in the shoot-out saw them beat Bayern Munich at their Allianz Arena home and claim the club's first European Cup.

    Di Matteo was rewarded with a permanent contract but was dismissed after a Champions League group-stage loss to Juventus. His eight months in charge, while delivering two major trophies, yielded a win ratio of 57.1 per cent.


    RAFAEL BENITEZ

    Former Liverpool manager Benitez, whose win ratio was 58.3 per cent at Stamford Bridge, was another appointment that was unpopular with fans. But he secured Champions League qualification and more European silverware, with the Blues beating Benfica 2-1 in the Europa League final. 


    ANTONIO CONTE

    Another Italian, Conte took charge after successful periods at Juventus and Italy. They won the Premier League title in style in his first season but Conte left despite beating United in the FA Cup final in the following campaign. Conte's win ratio of 65.1 per cent at the club is second only to Grant and he will be a Serie A rival for Sarri next term as he has been appointed by Inter.


    MAURIZIO SARRI

    Sarri's style never won fans over but third place in the Premier League, coupled with an appearance in the EFL Cup final - overshadowed by Kepa Arrizabalaga refusing to be substituted - and Europa League glory marked a successful single season. Sarri's 61.9 per cent win ratio at the club narrowly pips fellow Italian Ancelotti, who replaced him at Napoli last year.

  • Sarri leaves Chelsea and takes over at Juventus Sarri leaves Chelsea and takes over at Juventus

    Maurizio Sarri has left Chelsea to take over Juventus on a three-year contract, it has been confirmed.

    Sarri had only completed one of the three seasons Chelsea contracted him for, but an agreement was reached to allow him to return to Serie A, where he led Napoli to a second-place finish in 2017-18.

    The Italian coach's position had been in doubt for several months due to a number of issues at Chelsea, and Frank Lampard has been tipped to replace him at the helm.

    Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: "In talks we had following the Europa League final, Maurizio made it clear how strongly he desired to return to his native country, explaining that his reasons for wanting to return to work in Italy were significant.

    "He also believed it important to be nearer his family, and for the wellbeing of his elderly parents he felt he needed to live closer to them at this point.

    "Maurizio leaves Chelsea with thanks from us all for the work he and his assistants did during the season he spent as our head coach, and for winning the Europa League, guiding us to another cup final and a third-place finish in the Premier League.

    "We would also like to congratulate him on securing the role as big as any in Serie A and to wish him the best of luck for the future."

    Although he departs after a commendable third-place finish in the Premier League and winning the Europa League, Sarri's time in England was anything but smooth.

    After an encouraging start domestically, Sarri's style of play began to be criticised and there were suggestions it was not quick enough to thrive in England.

    The signing of Jorginho, who followed the coach from Napoli, received particularly negative attention.

    A poor run of form towards the end of 2018 stretched into the New Year and saw Chelsea ship 10 goals without reply in successive away matches to Bournemouth and Manchester City.

    That left Sarri's job in doubt, while Kepa Arrizabalaga's decision to defy the coach's attempt to substitute him in the EFL Cup final defeat to City led to suggestions the Italian had lost the dressing room.

    Sarri held on and managed to guide Chelsea to a third-place finish and Europa League glory, with reports prior to the game in Baku suggesting defeat would result in his sacking.

    However, he has been allowed to leave in a move that could pave the way for fan favourite Lampard to return to Stamford Bridge following his first season in management.

    Lampard's strong links to Chelsea will not be his only advantage – he thrived under a tight budget at Derby County, using loans and young players, and that will likely stand him in good stead if the Blues' transfer embargo stands.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.