Eden Hazard returns to form against Chelsea will be a “perfect moment,” according to Zinedine Zidane.
On Wednesday night, his Real Madrid squad will head to Stamford Bridge for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final.
The first leg ended 1-1 on aggregate, with Christian Pulisic and Karim Benzema scoring in Spain last week.
Hazard has struggled with Real Madrid since completing his dream transfer in July 2019. He was signed for well over £100 million but has yet to repay the fee, scoring just three goals this season.
In a pre-match press conference, Zidane said of Hazard, “It’s a nice time for him, and I think he’s organized, and that’s positive for us. We’re going to need Eden. We know what a professional athlete he is, and he will undoubtedly support the club. Eden is with us; he’s ready. We are aware of his abilities. He’ll put his natural game and demonstrate what he needs to do out there. That makes me happy.”
Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid’s defensive stalwart, has missed the club’s last seven La Liga games.
When asked about Sergio’s health, Zidane said, “I’m not going to take a chance, Sergio is with us and that means he’s happy to play; that’s all. I’m not going to tell you if Sergio or any other player can play right now. He’s here with us, which means he’s fine; that’s the most important thing for us, to have our king, our captain, with us. As I previously said, all of the players who have joined us are prepared. Every single one of them.
We’re in the Champions League semi-finals, and we’re all going to fight to the death on the pitch. All of the players are prepared to participate, and then I must choose a squad. Don’t worry, all of the teams are prepared to play.”
On the night, Zidane’s manager will be Thomas Tuchel, who has transformed Chelsea into a dominant side since taking over in January. They have the advantage due to Pulisic’s away goal, so a clean sheet in London will send them to the final.
Didier Drogba and Chelsea last won Europe’s top competition in 2012.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane dominated the Champions League three years in a row from 2016 to 2018, before Liverpool ended their continental domination.