Eden Hazard stressed the importance of winning trophies every season at Real Madrid as the star signing eyes silverware in 2019-20.

Hazard swapped Chelsea for Madrid in a big-money move during the off-season after the LaLiga club's difficult 2018-19 campaign.

Madrid finished third behind bitter rivals Barcelona in LaLiga, crashed out of the Champions League in the last 16 and lost in the Copa del Rey semi-finals.

Hazard – who led Chelsea to Europa League glory last term – understands the importance of titles at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"When you play for Real Madrid you need to win things every season. You need to win, win, win," Hazard told Jay Shetty via Madrid's official website.

"If you don't win the Champions League the fans get down and that's to be expected. At this club you always want to win and that's why I'm here.

"I want to play games, score goals and, come the end of the season, lift trophies."

Hazard made his debut for Madrid in last week's 3-1 loss to Bayern Munich at the International Champions Cup.

The Belgium international and Madrid are back in action against Arsenal in Maryland on Tuesday.

"I play with freedom. That's difficult in football because there are defenders, midfielders... but that's the kind of player I am," Hazard said.

"If I don't have that freedom I don't play well and end up on the bench. I like to get on the ball, move to the right, to the left, shift around and play with my instinct.

"I don't think: I have to do this, play the ball to the right, to the left. I just play, get on the ball and decide what to do."

Eden Hazard made his Real Madrid debut as the LaLiga giants were beaten 3-1 by Bayern Munich at the International Champions Cup in Houston.

Hazard wore the Madrid jersey for the first time since his big-money move from Chelsea, while fellow recruits Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy and Rodrygo Goes also made their bows for Zinedine Zidane's side.

But Corentin Tolisso, Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry stole the show as Bayern put Madrid to the sword in the second half, which saw Zidane make 11 changes at the interval.

Tolisso opened the scoring in the 15th minute and Bayern completely dominated in the second half, with substitutes Lewandowski and Gnabry condemning Madrid to defeat in their ICC opener on Saturday.

Madrid did have something to celebrate when Rodrygo capped his debut with a stunning 84th-minute free-kick after Sven Ulreich was sent off for bringing down the former Santos youngster.

Gareth Bale was left out of the Madrid squad amid ongoing uncertainty over his future, with the Welshman linked to Bayern. While there was no room for Bale, Jovic, Rodrygo and Mendy were on the bench.

It was an entertaining and end-to-end first half, with Bayern's Manuel Neuer the busier of the two goalkeepers at NRG Stadium.

After Neuer managed to make a goal-line save to deny Karim Benzema in the 11th minute, Bayern broke the deadlock four minutes later via Tolisso.

A low cross from Kingsley Coman found a way through to Tolisso, whose initial shot was stopped on the line by Thibaut Courtois, but the Frenchman made no mistake with the rebound.

Madrid huffed and puffed in search of an equaliser – Benzema, who failed to capitalise on a pair of consecutive close-range chances, in the thick of the action but unable to put the ball over the line.

Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric and Hazard also had opportunities for Madrid prior to half-time, however, Bayern managed to preserve their advantage.

Madrid controlled possession early in the second half but Bayern were a threat in attack and the German giants sent a warning when an unmarked Thiago Alcantara drove into the box, however he was unable to direct Coman's cross on target approaching the hour mark.

That warning went unheeded as centre-back Niklas Sule picked out Lewandowski with a ball over Madrid's defence in the 67th minute and the Polish striker produced a stunning piece of skill to control it before turning and finishing into the bottom corner.

Gnabry completed the rout two minutes later when the German found himself unmarked in the area and he had time to take a touch and fire a half-volley past Keylor Navas.

Bayern ended the match with 10 men after Ulreich was red carded for a foul on Rodrygo outside the area in the 81st minute following Joshua Kimmich's sloppy back-pass and the Madrid signing converted his own free-kick to pull a goal back.

Christian Pulisic does not believe he is under any additional pressure to fill Eden Hazard's boots at Chelsea, with the United States international insisting he is his "own player".

The 20-year-old agreed to a €64million (£58m) move from Borussia Dortmund in January before finishing the season on loan at the Bundesliga club.

Pulisic has now joined his new Chelsea team-mates for pre-season and made his first appearance for the club in a 1-0 defeat to Kawasaki Frontale on Friday.

Hazard left Stamford Bridge when he signed a five-year deal with LaLiga giants Real Madrid last month, and despite playing in a similar position to the Belgium international, Pulisic is adamant that he will not be weighed down by the inevitable comparisons.

"I'm not here to compare or anything," he told Sky Sports News.

"Obviously Eden was amazing and he did so well for this club, as you could see last season and the whole time he's been here. He was an incredible player.

"For me, it's coming in as my own player, proving myself and doing the best I can to help this team.

"Right now, it's going in and helping the team whatever way I can. It's just bringing an intensity into the training first of all and earning respect in the beginning.

"Then I want to make an impact as much as I can on the pitch."

Pulisic will hope to continue his preparations for the 2019-20 campaign when the Blues take on Barcelona in a friendly on Tuesday.

Zinedine Zidane believes former Chelsea star Eden Hazard "needed a club like Real Madrid" to take his game to the next level.

Hazard, 28 is set to make his Madrid debut in an International Champions Cup clash against Bayern Munich in Houston.

The Belgium international signed a five-year deal with the LaLiga club last month after Chelsea agreed to his transfer wish.

Hazard's heart was set on moving to the Spanish capital and his new head coach commended the 28-year-old on taking the leap.

"He's a decisive player," Zidane said. "He scores goals and makes a difference.

"He's shown that throughout his career and now we have him. We will take advantage of his qualities.

"I'm very happy with him. Eden needed a club like Real Madrid to improve. This club has something special and we all know it.

"When I arrived at Real Madrid, I was 29 and I still had a lot left. I spent five years here as a player and improved things. Eden's situation is the same.

"We know the type of player he is and that he can give us a lot."

Yet one of Hazard's team-mates, left-back Marcelo, thinks Madrid might have done better in the transfer market.

The Brazilian defender rates compatriot Neymar, who faces an uncertain future at Paris Saint-Germain, as the superior player.

"Eden's a high-quality player," Marcelo said in an interview with YouTube channel De Sola.

"He's impressive. Like Ney, he has the quality to be in the top five [in the world]. You can't compare them, but Neymar is better for me.

"Having Neymar at Real Madrid would be a huge pleasure, but I don't make the decisions.

"Madrid always have to do everything to sign the best players in the world and his past at Barcelona wouldn't be a problem."

Joao Felix could crash into fourth on the list of the most expensive transfers of all time after Atletico Madrid submitted an eye-watering €126million bid to Benfica.

The LaLiga club have offered more than teenage attacker's release clause and are proposing to pay the nine-figure sum in instalments.

If accepted, and personal terms are agreed, 19-year-old Joao Felix will make his move for a higher fee than the amount that convinced Real Madrid to sanction Cristiano Ronaldo's switch to Juventus.

It is a vast investment in a player considered one of Europe's most promising and could pave the way for Antoine Griezmann's exit, a mooted move to either Barcelona or Paris Saint-Germain placing the France forward in the frame for a spot on the list below.

 

1. NEYMAR: BARCELONA TO PSG – €222M

2. KYLIAN MBAPPE: MONACO TO PSG – €180M

3. PHILIPPE COUTINHO: LIVERPOOL TO BARCELONA –  €160M

4. JOAO FELIX:  BENFICA TO ATLETICO MADRID –   €126M

5. CRISTIANO RONALDO:  REAL MADRID TO JUVENTUS –  €112M

=6. OUSMANE DEMBELE: BORUSSIA DORTMUND TO BARCELONA – €105M

=6. PAUL POGBA: JUVENTUS TO MANCHESTER UNITED – €105M

8. GARETH BALE: TOTTENHAM TO REAL MADRID – €100.8M

9. EDEN HAZARD: CHELSEA TO REAL MADRID –  €100M

10. CRISTIANO RONALDO: MANCHESTER UNITED TO REAL MADRID – €94M

11. GONZALO HIGUAIN: NAPOLI TO JUVENTUS – €90M

12. NEYMAR: SANTOS TO BARCELONA – €86.2M

 

(*Prices are as reported at the time of transfers being completed.)

Real Madrid will provide Eden Hazard with the platform he needs to reach the highest level, according to Fernando Torres.

Chelsea this month sold Hazard, who had one year left on his contract at Stamford Bridge, to Madrid in a deal said to be worth €130million.

Luka Jovic, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy and Rodrygo have also arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu as Zinedine Zidane bids to rejuvenate Los Blancos after a dismal 2018-19 season, in which they finished third in LaLiga and only won the Club World Cup.

Torres believes Madrid offers his former Chelsea team-mate Hazard with the perfect stage to raise his game, though the Belgium international will need to ensure he has the appropriate mindset.

"[Madrid] have got the brand where every player in the world wants to play there, and when they call the players see it as a club where you can make history," Torres, who last week announced his retirement, told AS.

"Hazard is a spectacular footballer who needs the boost from a club like Real Madrid to reach the level he can reach, which he did at Chelsea in a fleeting manner.

"It remains to be seen if he's able to push himself to want to be better. His ability and the conditions are perfect.

"Sometimes it seemed he struggled to want to be better when I saw him training, it was clear he could be at the level of the best. Now he's got the stage on which to do it. It'll depend more on his mentality than his football."

Madrid sold Marcos Llorente to Atletico Madrid in a reported €40m deal, the midfielder arriving at the Wanda Metropolitano ahead of Rodri's anticipated switch to Manchester City.

Torres does not see an issue with Llorente moving from Atleti's arch-rivals and hopes the club can become a place where players see out their careers.

"Atleti is bigger now than thinking about which team the players come from. What's more important is where they are leaving to go," said the World Cup winner.

"There will come a time when players will see Atleti as their final destination, where they want to win, to stay, to be part of the history and be remembered forever.

"It is a step that will be taken soon. No matter where you come from or the name, it matters that you are committed to Atleti.

"Once you're there, the people in the club are able to convey what it means. And the day they decide to leave they do so respecting what the club has given them, and nobody will reproach them for anything."

Eden Hazard will be considered a legend at Chelsea, who will find it impossible to directly replace the Belgian, according to Didier Drogba.

Hazard left Chelsea earlier this month, making a long-awaited move to LaLiga giants Real Madrid in a deal that could rise to €140million.

The 28-year-old departed Stamford Bridge having scored 21 goals across all competitions last season, helping Chelsea to a third-placed Premier League finish and the Europa League title.

Hazard's departure has come at a difficult time for the Blues, who are currently appealing a transfer ban which would prohibit them from signing players for the next two windows.

Christian Pulisic was brought in from Borussia Dortmund in January before being loaned back to the Bundesliga side for the remainder of the campaign and will likely take up Hazard's spot in the starting XI.

And though insisting Hazard is irreplaceable, Drogba believes Chelsea will eventually find a way to adapt to life without their star man, who had been at the club since 2012.

"No one can replace Hazard, he is special," Drogba said during an Instagram Live on his official account on Saturday.

"But someone else will come, [and] step up. Hazard is a legend at Chelsea. That's life, that's football."

Chelsea are currently without a manager after Maurizio Sarri left to join Juventus.

Blues icon Frank Lampard is reportedly the front-runner for the job, following an impressive season at the helm of Derby County, and Drogba has backed his former team-mate as the best candidate.

"Well, the one who is in line to get the job, I think Lampard," Drogba added when asked for his thoughts on who should take over at Stamford Bridge.

Maurizio Sarri has claimed he could not play his preferred system at Chelsea as he had to accommodate Eden Hazard.

Belgium international Hazard starred for Chelsea last season, scoring 21 goals and providing 17 assists across all competitions.

His form earned him a move to Real Madrid, while Sarri - who won the Europa League and led Chelsea to a third-place finish in the Premier League - left for Juventus.

Sarri's first and only season at Stamford Bridge looked to have been a success, but issues over his playing style proved a sticking point throughout his tenure.

And Sarri believes that having to find a way to play Hazard in his preferred role meant he could not deploy the free-flowing, 4-3-3 system that had drawn plaudits during his time at Napoli, and also caused problems in defence.

"In recent years, I've had 4-3-3, but the 4-3-3 at Chelsea was very different to the one at Napoli," Sarri told a news conference.

"We had to accommodate Hazard's characteristics, as he could change the game, but also his presence caused issues in defending that we had to work on."

One player that Sarri brought to Chelsea last season was Gonzalo Higuain, who joined on loan from Juve in January.

Higuain was a crucial player in Sarri's Napoli side before he left for Juve in 2016, and Sarri is looking forward to another reunion with the 31-year-old, should the Argentine wish to remain in Turin.

"You know I love [Higuain] a lot. I have always been very supportive. It depends on him," Sarri said.

"In terms of the other players at Juventus, I have to be very modest because here there are staff who have been dealing with them for many different years.

"I think it's absolutely fair that I listen to them, then we'll make a decision together. The staff know the players better than me - maybe Higuain is the only one I know slightly better - so it will be up to me to listen to them and adapt."

Eden Hazard hailed Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba as two of the world's best players as the pair continue to be linked with Real Madrid.

Hazard was presented by Madrid on Thursday after making the move from Chelsea for a fee which could reportedly rise to £130million.

Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe and Manchester United midfielder Pogba are also linked with Madrid, where Zinedine Zidane's rebuild is gathering steam.

While Hazard had little interest in talking about transfers, the attacker said the duo were among the world's best.

"I'm not here to discuss transfers. I came to play with the best," he told a news conference.

"There are new players already and we'll have some time to adapt.

"It's true that we want to play with the best and the guys you've mentioned are two of those, but I don't decide these things."

Madrid have already signed Hazard, Luka Jovic, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy and Rodrygo Goes ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Eden Hazard is happy to let captain Sergio Ramos carry on taking penalties at Real Madrid and admitted he could not convince Luka Modric to give him his number 10 shirt.

Belgium international Hazard completed his move to Los Blancos last week after seven years at Chelsea, where he earned a reputation as one of the most reliable penalty-takers around.

However, centre-back Ramos has also proven adept from 12 yards since replacing Cristiano Ronaldo as Madrid's designated spot-kick taker and Hazard is happy for his new skipper to continue in that role.

"I think the captain takes a really good penalty," Hazard said at his unveiling on Thursday.

"I don't think he's going to ask me to take them! I think he'll keep taking penalties and he'll keep scoring no doubt."

Hazard has made a request of his own, though, as he revealed he had already attempted to acquire the number 10 shirt.

Ballon d'Or winner Modric is the owner of that jersey and Hazard revealed he had used the Croatian's international team-mate Mateo Kovacic, who was on loan at Chelsea last season from Madrid, in a bid to obtain the shirt.

However, at his presentation, Hazard only had his name on the back of a numberless shirt and he conceded his efforts to sway Modric had been futile.

"I've been in contact with Modric via Kovacic and I asked him if I could have the number 10 and he said no," Hazard added.

"[It was] a bit of a joke we had. I'll have to find a number but I don't think the number is the most important thing.

"I think the most important thing is to wear the Real Madrid shirt and defend this club."

Eden Hazard insists he does not view himself as a Galactico just yet, but the Belgium international hopes he can make a lasting impression at Real Madrid.

After several transfer windows in which Los Blancos were linked with a move for Hazard, the 28-year-old finally made the switch from Chelsea last week, signing a five-year deal with the 13-time European champions.

Madrid have overhauled their squad following a disappointing 2018-19 and Hazard is the biggest name to arrive at the Santiago Bernabeu so far.

The club have a history of acquiring the best players in the world having brought in Luis Figo, current boss Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and David Beckham during the Galactico era of the early 2000s, yet Hazard refrained from putting himself in that company at his unveiling on Thursday.

"I'm not a Galactico, maybe one day I'd like to be considered a Galactico," he told reporters.

"I'm Eden Hazard and I have to start afresh here, it's a new chapter. I think I'm a very good player."

In five of the last six years, the Ballon d'Or winner has been playing for Real Madrid, with Luka Modric succeeding Cristiano Ronaldo - now of Juventus - in winning the prize in 2018.

Hazard finished eighth in the voting last year and many believe he can strengthen his credentials for the game's top individual prize having swapped Chelsea for Madrid.

"Well the [current] Ballon d'Or winner plays for Real Madrid... do I think it's easier? I don't know," he said.

"It depends how we play. It's true they've been winning the awards for many years now but it's not a goal of mine to win the Ballon d'Or.

"I'm here to help my team, my team-mates and maybe one day I'll win it but it's at the back of my mind. It's more important the club win titles."

Hazard spent seven seasons at Chelsea but insists he is still only entering his prime.

"I don't think I'm joining the club late on in my career - I'm just 28... between 27 and 32, those are the best years for a footballer," he claimed.

"I know there's been a lot of rumours and I've been linked to this club for many years but I've enjoyed spells at Lille and Chelsea and now I'm joining the biggest club in the world and will hopefully continue to develop and progress as a footballer."

Real Madrid should allow Gareth Bale to leave on loan, says the club's former president Ramon Calderon.

Bale fell out of favour at Madrid after Zinedine Zidane returned for his second spell in charge in March.

But his lofty wages - reportedly as high as £350,000 a week - mean few clubs will likely be able to afford the Wales star.

Madrid have been spending heavily on reinforcements with France international Ferland Mendy their latest signing, the left-back joining Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Eder Militao in heading to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Manchester United have long been linked with a move for Bale, but reports suggest the Premier League side are no longer considering a move. 

Calderon therefore feels a loan deal could suit both Madrid and Bale, who cost what was then a world-record £85million fee when he signed from Tottenham in 2013.

"His situation here is very difficult," Calderon told Sky Sports. "It is clear Zidane has discarded him in his mind.

"He showed that last season by not having him in the starting line-up. It is very disappointing for a player like him.

"Also the problem is the transfer fee. Real Madrid want to get a lot of money for him, but I find that difficult.

"Maybe the best thing for everyone would be a loan. The player could recover his confidence on the field and Real Madrid could see his value rise.

"He wasn't successful here for many reasons - injuries, also the handicap of the money. When he came we paid more than we did for Cristiano [Ronaldo].

"People thought he should be better than Cristiano but that is very difficult."

Hazard has become Madrid's latest 'Galactico' signing and the Belgium star will be presented by the club on Thursday.

But Calderon does not believe Hazard, who joined from Chelsea for a fee that could reportedly exceed £150m, can succeed Ronaldo either.

"[Hazard] is a fantastic player, but Cristiano is unique," Calderon said. "I've never seen or found a player like him.

"Hazard is very talented and skilful, he's proven that in the strongest championship in the world, which is the Premier League.

"He can play on both flanks, is a good dribbler with excellent passing. He can play in many positions - attacking midfielder, winger, even a false nine - so it is a fantastic opportunity."

Luka Jovic used to sleep in a Real Madrid shirt and says Cristiano Ronaldo was his idol.

Jovic has signed a six-year deal with Los Blancos, who paid Eintracht Frankfurt a reported €60million.

The Serbia striker becomes part of Madrid's rebuild in Zinedine Zidane's second spell at the club.

Eden Hazard, Eder Militao and Rodrygo Goes are also arriving after Madrid's disappointing 2018-19 campaign.

But Jovic revealed it was Ronaldo, who left Madrid for Juventus last year, who was his idol.

"Ronaldo, definitely, as a kid," Jovic said when asked who his favourite Madrid player was.

"Right now I don't pick one player out, as we're all team-mates now.

"I know last season was not the best season at Real Madrid, but hopefully next year will be better.

"The price does not bring more pressure, I've not really thought about that. I am just focusing on what I have to do on the pitch.

"I've not had a chance to talk to any Madrid players yet. I'd like to talk to Luka Modric and hopefully I will do that in the next few days."

Jovic confirmed a story told by club president Florentino Perez at his unveiling about him sleeping in a Madrid colours growing up.

"Yes it is true, the jersey was a gift from a family friend," he added. "I was a Madrid fan, like many kids."

Of fellow new signing Hazard, who will be unveiled on Thursday, Jovic added: "He is a fantastic player, one of the best in the world and it will be a pleasure to share a dressing room with him."

Eden Hazard and Real Madrid are the perfect fit, according to Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez.

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

The Belgium star will lead Zinedine Zidane's squad overhaul as the LaLiga giants look to bounce back from their third-place finish in 2018-19.

And Martinez believes Hazard and Madrid fit perfectly together as Belgium prepare for Tuesday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Scotland.

"For Real Madrid, they are getting a phenomenal footballer and for Eden, there couldn't have been too many new chapters in his career," Martinez said.

"He always said that he was feeling at home in London with Chelsea so probably it was the only place that he could have gone and the place where he always had the dream of going.

"I think it is the perfect fit. Everything has been commanded with incredible respect in every party and I think that's the way things should be done. Now we all look forward to seeing how his new chapter at Real Madrid will start."

Hazard – who led Chelsea to Europa League glory this season – is the fourth new arrival at 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.

Sergio Ramos said Eden Hazard's arrival at Real Madrid could herald a new era for the club, while insisting the recent speculation over his own future had not affected his morale.

Hazard completed his transfer from Chelsea on Friday in a deal that could be worth €140million and Ramos indicated he feels the Belgium international can help Madrid to challenge for LaLiga in 2019-20.

Zinedine Zidane's men lost three of their last four LaLiga games of the 2018-19 season as they finished third, 19 points behind winners Barcelona, but Madrid supporters will hope the marquee signing of Hazard finally fills the gap left by Cristiano Ronaldo when he left Santiago Bernabeu before the season commenced.

Ramos expressed his satisfaction at the 28-year-old's arrival, telling reporters: "I'm happy. I think it's a great signing. He's one of the top players in the world.

"It's good to reinforce the squad with those types of players that can define an era."

Ramos explained his decision to appear at a news conference at which he announced his desire to stay at Madrid until he retires, saying he wanted to end media reports linking him with a possible move to the Chinese Super League.

The 33-year-old is currently on international duty with Spain and scored in their 4-1 Euro 2020 qualifying victory over the Faroe Islands on Friday.

Ahead of Monday's clash with Sweden, Ramos quelled the idea that linking up with Spain came as a relief after a torrid season at Madrid, saying: "I had to go out and give the press conference because I thought it was the best thing for everyone, the important thing was to turn the page and end all the speculation.

"I am happy where I am. I'm very happy in Madrid and meeting up with the national team is not a relief.

"It is something you take pride in. I am very excited about both the national team and Madrid.

"I play each game like it's my last."

Ramos described assistant coach Robert Moreno as "very capable" after he took Luis Enrique's place in the dugout, the head coach still absent due to a family emergency.

Moreno was unsure whether Luis Enrique would return for the Sweden game, saying: "There is no news, and we are taking it a day at a time.

"It is likely tomorrow he will not be there. I hope I'm wrong. We hope he can be in the next one, in September [away at Romania on September 5]. But that is going to depend on his personal situation.

"We are a pretty united staff. We have Luis, even if it's by phone."

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