Eden Hazard has opened up about his weight issues as a footballer during a new podcast episode with his former Chelsea teammate John Obi Mikel.
Appearing in an episode of Mikel’s Obi Uno PodcastBelgian winger Hazard, 33, revealed some of the problems he had with his weight and physical condition during his professional career.
Hazard retired from football in October after playing just 76 times in four seasons for Madrid following issues with his fitness and admitted he decided to retire because he was “no longer having fun on the pitch” following his release from Madrid. .
He responded bluntly to stories that circulated shortly after his signing for the Spanish club, according to which he had shown up for pre-season in poor shape.
“It was true,” Hazard said. while speaking in Obi Uno Podcast. “But me, every summer I gained four or five kilos because I thought that you give a lot for 10 months, you put your body at the highest level and people kick you, so your free time is your free time.”
Former winger Eden Hazard admits he used to return every year due to being overweight in pre-season
After his arrival at Real Madrid, rumors circulated that he was always out of shape in the preseason.
Hazard made the revelations in a new podcast episode hosted by John Obi Mikel (left)
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‘Don’t ask me to do anything. I enjoy being with my family, going to the beach, so don’t ask me to run in those three or four weeks. I can play soccer on the beach with my children, no problem, but don’t ask me to run.
“But if you look throughout my career, the first month (of the season) is the part where I thought it was just the beginning, and then from September to October I was flying, because I needed time to put my body and my mind in the best way.
—So yes, it’s true, I came back from vacation with five kilos, I knew it.
“As a Belgian, we love beers because my country has the best beers in the world, so I’m not telling you that I used to drink every day because it’s not true, but sometimes, after a good game, one or two is good” . .’
Despite admitting he arrived at the Spanish giant overweight, Hazard insisted he couldn’t have done much more to improve his time at the club and opened up about why things really went so wrong from the start.
Hazard revealed that he did rehabilitation alone during Covid after having ankle surgery
Hazard (right) insisted he worked hard to get back to his best condition but struggled significantly after returning to training post-Covid.
Hazard ended up playing just 76 times for Real Madrid over four years before retiring in 2023.
When asked if he could have done things differently to get going at Madrid, Hazard replied: “I don’t think so.” I think I was a little unlucky with that period with Covid, because if you want to know the real story, I went to Dallas to have surgery on my ankle and then I came back to Madrid and it was Covid.
‘I had two or two and a half months of Covid, alone at home, without a physiotherapist to do the rehabilitation. I did my rehab alone. If I had to choose something to change I would have told the doctor “bring a physio, I need a good rehabilitation”. I have to do it because I want to play at the highest level.
“And then when Covid was over we got back on the court, I pushed my body like crazy but my ankle wasn’t the same and then I tore it all up the next season and you know the story.”
‘If you want something to change, call the physiotherapist: “Come home, I know it’s Covid, but please come home, I need rehabilitation.” And things could be different at that time.”
Hazard was pressed further about whether Madrid could have helped him more in his recovery, but defended his former club.
“At that time people weren’t allowed to go outside or go to work, and I didn’t put pressure on the physio or the doctor to say, ‘Oh, come on, I need someone.'” For me, in my rehab I did some exercises, some things alone. For me it was enough, I didn’t think I had to do more.
‘At first, I didn’t think I needed to do more. After two months I think “oh yeah, I should do more”, but at first it was fine, I did my thing, I go for a little run, I do some exercise and it wasn’t that bad, but then I came back. “I went back to the field and I felt it.”
Reflecting on whether he knew immediately after his return to action that he was in trouble, Hazard admitted: “Yes, yes, yes. After that period with Covid we got back on the pitch and we had like two months to play until the end of the season .
“And we were so close to being champions that I told Zidane: “I want to push, I want to go” and then the day we finished as champions I told him “no, I can’t do more, I’m already finished.” “My body is suffering a lot so I need to do proper rehabilitation, but it was already the end of the season.”
Hazard’s years of success at Chelsea saw the Blues win two Premier Leagues and an FA Cup.
In the podcast, he also talked about the manager he didn’t like working with at Chelsea.
In Hazard’s seven years of success at Chelsea, the Blues won two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, two League Cups and two Europa League trophies.
Elsewhere in the podcast, released on Monday morning, the Belgian spoke about his international team-mate Kevin De Bruyne, Chelsea’s current challenges under Mauricio Pochettino and the way Jude Bellingham had handled himself since arriving at Real Madrid.
Hazard also revealed the only coach who was able to get the best out of him and highlighted a coach he had difficulty working with at Chelsea.
He also had an unexpected former Blues name as his pick for the most talented footballer he had worked with “by far”.
Eden Hazard was speaking on the Obi One podcast.