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Jose Mourinho has reignited his feud with Eden Hazard by slamming the Real Madrid star's awful attitude towards training.
Hazard and Mourinho worked together at Chelsea for two and a half years and had success, winning the Premier League in 2014/15 with Hazard named PFA Player of the Year. But the Blues' performances fell off a cliff the following season as Hazard's form nosedived and Mourinho was sacked.
The relationship had soured, with Mourinho referring to his side "playing with 10 men" (a perceived jibe at Hazard's lack of defensive work). Now, Mourinho has opened up on his view of the Belgium superstar.
"The truth about Eden Hazard?" he replied when asked on talkSPORT what he really thought about a player he'd coached for several seasons.
"The truth is what you see from him: he is an amazing player with awful training.
"You can only imagine what he could be with a super-professional attitude in training."
Mourinho did praise Hazard's quiet personal life, calling him an incredibly dedicated family man. But Jose believes the 30-year-old has got to where he is by coasting on his talent - and could win the Ballon d'Or if he only combined his gifts with hard graft.
"He is an amazing kid... But he gets onto the pitch every morning and he doesn't work much," Mourinho said.
"When he gets on to the pitch you don't see the reflection of a week of work, you just see a reflection of his talent.
"He is this amazing player and you can imagine if he was a top professional. When he went to Real Madrid I thought wow, this guy is going to the biggest club in the world and is going to feel this huge pressure to be always at the top, this guy is going to win the Golden Ball [Ballon d'Or], because he is amazing.
"But in terms of his fitness, his speed, his condition, he would be a much better player [if he trained properly]. What you see is just the talent that got Eden to where he is.
"He's had more injuries at Real Madrid, at his time with me at Chelsea he didn't, he might have had one but it was nothing big. But in Madrid he got into this negative dynamic with his injuries and that's probably affected him."
"The amazing player that you see is an amazing player but with awful training."
"You could imagine what he could be with a super professional attitude in training."
José Mourinho says #BEL star Eden Hazard could be an even better player. pic.twitter.com/EGFQrQmI3z
- talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) June 18, 2021
Hazard moved to Real Madrid for a fee of over €100 million in 2019. However, he got off to a difficult start with reports that he showed up overweight to pre-season training.
Nagging injuries have also blighted his two seasons in Spain, with Hazard managing just five goals and 43 games in his stop-start spell.
He has not started either of Belgium's games at Euro 2020, but has been involved from the bench in the victories over Russia and Denmark, looking sharp against the latter.
But if Mourinho's view is correct, Hazard needs to commit himself in training to truly get the most out of his undoubted ability.
All imagery: PA Images
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