Eden Hazard has said sorry and insisted he did not mean to offend any Real Madrid fans after laughing and joking with members of Chelsea’s team following his side’s exit from the Champions League at the semi-final stage.
Real Madrid lost 3-1 on aggregate after Chelsea progressed to the final thanks to goals from Timo Werner and Mason Mount at Stamford Bridge which gave the Blues a 2-0 win in the semi-final second leg on Wednesday night and set up an all-English tie with Manchester City on May 29 in Istanbul.
Hazard, who scored 110 times in over 350 appearances during his time at the Blues from 2012 to 2019, was substituted just before the end of the game after failing to make an impact against his previous club.
After the final whistle, the Belgium international could be seen laughing and joking with some of his former team-mates.
The 30-year-old’s actions drew staunch criticism from Real Madrid supporters and in the Spanish media, with some fans even calling for him to be transferred.
Amid sombre backing music, a clip of El Chiringuito TV presenter Josep Pedrerol went viral after he went on a rant about Hazard, claiming his situation at the club is “very serious” and arguing that he was making a mockery out of Real Madrid supporters.
“I am sorry. I have read lots of opinions about me today and it was not my intention to offend any Real Madrid fans,” Hazard posted on his Instagram story on Thursday.
“It has always been my dream to play for Real Madrid and I came here to win. The season is not over and together we must battle for La Liga! Hala Madrid!”
Real Madrid play Sevilla, Granada, Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal before the end of the La Liga season, with Los Blancos currently level on points with Barcelona and two points behind cross-city rivals Atletico Madrid ahead of what is set to be a close title run-in.
Hazard “owes” Real Madrid and the club’s fans after he was seen laughing with Chelsea players after being knocked out of the Champions League, says Spanish football expert Terry Gibson.
Gibson says he acted naively but is not sure where Hazard could go next if he were to leave Real Madrid in the wake of his actions on Wednesday night.
“The first thing is to who? Who’s got the money and who would buy him after two years ravaged by injury? So I think that’s the big problem but I can understand the frustrations of the Real Madrid fans,” Gibson told Sky Sports News.
“I think he was an easy target last night anyway because his form at Real Madrid has been disastrous and the way that he’s been injured for the last couple of seasons.
“When he’s played he hasn’t been effective so he was always going to be an easy target, he hasn’t adhered himself to the Real Madrid fans.
“I can understand that as well, losing a Champions League semi-final, not that I would know, but being involved in semi-finals myself, if you were to lose you should be devastated.
“For him to have been as happy as he was after the final whistle with former teammates! It’s fine but if you want to congratulate them perhaps it’s best done behind the scenes but to do it in full view of the media, the cameras, which everybody in the world can then see.
“You can understand the frustration of the Real Madrid supporters and the club.
“I would imagine the club wouldn’t look too kindly on the way he behaved after the final whistle so that hasn’t helped him.”