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Transfer Rater: Sarr to Arsenal

Football Whispers

Zidane keeping an eye on Chelsea's Hazard alongside Ronaldo and Messi

Real Madrid Castilla boss Zinedine Zidane has expressed his admiration for Chelsea star Eden Hazard, telling "I enjoy everything he does on the pitch."

Hazard, 24, has played a starring role for Premier League leaders Chelsea this season, and is the favourite to land the PFA Player of the Year award after scoring 13 goals and providing eight assists.

Zidane, who recommended that Real sign the player from Lille in 2010, said he remained a huge admirer of the Belgium international.

"There are players I keep an eye on and who I like a lot, like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, of course," he said. "They're fantastic players, but I like Eden Hazard a lot too. I enjoy everything he does on the pitch.

"I like the way he carries himself, that decisive streak in him and the fact that he's improving every year. He can still get better too, and I think he's a big reason why Chelsea are on top of the table."

Former France international Zidane, who worked as Carlo Ancelotti's assistant at Madrid last season, has been tipped as a future boss of the first team with the Italian remaining under pressure.

The World Cup and European Championship winner, who also claimed the Spanish league title and Champion League with Madrid, said his successes as a player helped him to get his message across as a coach.

Hazard scored the only goal in Sunday's win against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

"Maybe the fact that I am who I am gives me a little bit extra and ensures people listen to me, but I don't take advantage of that. I just try to talk to them and get something across to them," he said.

"Let's just say it's easier for me to express myself as a coach because of my background. I work with the reserve team and I have my own objectives, which I set with my players at the start of the season. I do have a special status at the club, but I don't use that."

He said he had "always liked attacking football while trying to strike a balance with defence," and wanted to ensure that both the players and the fans had "fun."

"I want my team to play well, which means playing a fast game and getting to the opposition goal as quickly as possible," he said. "All I'm doing is applying my philosophy of the game."

He added: "I was creative on the pitch and I still try to be today, even if it's in a different way. If things aren't working out, you have to try solutions straightaway and change things around to see if they work. When they do, it's because you've taken the right approach."


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