Eden Hazard has said he feels “in better condition” and ready to make an impact in Real Madrid’s end-of-season run after coming off the bench in their 1-1 Champions League draw with former club Chelsea.
Hazard played the last 25 minutes of the Champions League semifinal first leg at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium on Tuesday night as Madrid looked to take an advantage to Stamford Bridge for the second leg on May 5.
“I just want to go step-by-step, of course I want to play, I want to be on the pitch,” Hazard told BT Sport. “In the last game [against Real Betis] I played 15 minutes, today I played a bit more. We have a couple of good games to play until the end of the season. I just want to be ready for them.
“I feel in better condition, my body’s better, so I’m just happy I can play again.”
Hazard spent seven seasons at Stamford Bridge from 2012 to 2019, winning the Premier League twice and becoming one of the competition’s outstanding players.
Since joining Real Madrid in a €100 million deal, he has suffered a series of injuries that have limited his impact, scoring just four goals in two seasons.
“It’s always good to play against friends,” he said, when asked about facing ex-teammates. “I have a couple of friends over there. Now I’m a Real Madrid player so I just want to win. It doesn’t matter if it’s against Chelsea or another team.”
Christian Pulisic put Chelsea ahead after 14 minutes, latching onto Antonio Rudiger’s long ball and rounding Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois before firing past two defenders on the line.
Karim Benzema equalised 15 minutes later when Marcelo’s ball into the box was headed on by Casemiro and Eder Militao, as the French striker struck on the volley for his 71st Champions League goal.
“It could be better and it could be worse!” Hazard said. “We have a second leg to play over there. We have to go there to try to win the game.”
Coach Zinedine Zidane said it was “a fair result” and described Benzema’s strike as “impressive.”
“We can’t score three or four goals in every game,” he said. “It isn’t easy playing every three days against really good teams. We believe we can do it. We’ll go there to try to win the game, we know we have to score there.”