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 By Ian Holyman

Eden Hazard has 'admiration' for Real Madrid but focused on Chelsea

Mark Donaldson and Stevie Nicol try to make sense of Eden Hazard's latest comments regarding his admiration for Real Madrid.
Chelsea secure passage to the Champions League round of 16 with a comfortable 4-0 win over Qarabag.

Eden Hazard has added to speculation he could leave Chelsea to join Real Madrid by re-stating an "admiration" for the European champions in an interview with French TV.

Hazard, 26, recently said it would be "a dream" to work under his boyhood idol, Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, while the former France captain has frequently stated his admiration for the Chelsea star.

After coming back from the broken ankle he suffered late last season, Hazard has returned to top form and a central place in Antonio Conte's plans, scoring three and assisting another goal in four Premier League starts for the reigning champions.

He is under contract at Stamford Bridge until 2020, but left the door open to a summer departure when he told Canal+ Madrid still has a special place in his heart.

He said: "For the moment, I want to finish this year. Everyone knows the admiration I have for Real, but for the moment, I'm a Blue. And each year people have said things, and each year I have stayed at my club.

"When I was at Lille, people started saying Paris Saint-Germain and everything, but I stayed at Lille. At Chelsea, every year, they say Paris Saint-Germain or Real."

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman


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