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May 2, 2014

'Hazard must sacrifice more for Chelsea'

FC's Gab Marcotti explains different possibilities as to why Jose Mourinho called out Eden Hazard for his negative comments.

LONDON -- Jose Mourinho says Eden Hazard is "not mentally ready" to sacrifice himself for Chelsea, saying "the perfect team at the top level" cannot make mistakes like the Belgium international's error against Atletico Madrid.

Eden Hazard has been an important player for Jose Mourinho this season.
Eden Hazard was named the PFA Young Player of the Season after a fine campaign for Chelsea.

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The Portuguese coach also insisted that Hazard's perceived criticism of the side's counter-attacking style was a consequence of the player's defensive mistake, but that the newly crowned PFA Young Player of the Year's comments were taken out of context.

Mourinho stated that he expects the 23-year-old attacker to work harder defensively following the mistake which led to Diego Simeone's side beating the Blues 3-1 in the second leg of their Champions League semifinal on Wednesday.

"First of all, I listen to the interview," Mourinho told his pregame news conference on Friday. "The words are completely different than some media were bringing. The context is completely transformed.

"[The] media was reporting he was being critical, but there was nothing critical in what he said. It's the same type of words he said in relation to the Belgium side a few weeks ago. There is nothing there.

"Normally you get this kind of comment from players like him: from players who can't resolve a problem like we had with the first goal. Against Atletico in Madrid, Willian played on the left side and Ashley Cole was protected all game.

"Against Liverpool, [Andre] Schuerrle played on the left and a dangerous player like Glen Johnson was completely under control. Eden is the kind of player who is not so mentally ready to look back at his left-back and live his life for him.

"If you see Atletico's first goal, you understand where the mistake was and why we conceded that goal.

"I just say the perfect team at the top level cannot make this kind of mistake. Normally, in this game, if you go to half-time winning 1-0, the game is another game. Atletico have to chase the game and we, with stability, have conditions for more.

"When the comments come from a player like Eden, it's normal. He's not the kind of player ready to sacrifice himself 100 percent for the team and his mates. But at the same time, the comments were not critical. I'm not happy [a player doesn't sacrifice himself], and I've spoken all season and I've tried to improve him."

Hazard's comments have also been framed as the first step in an anticipated bid from Paris Saint-Germain this summer, but Chelsea sources state that a sale will simply not be countenanced.

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