John Obi Mikel has revealed how Eden Hazard told him that his injury woes at Real Madrid were down to his high efforts in training.
The former Belgian captain announced his shock retirement from football in October, with his best spell coming at Chelsea.
Hazard scored 110 goals and assisted another 92 in 352 appearances for the Blues, establishing himself as a club legend in west London.
After seven years at Chelsea, Hazard signed for Madrid but much of his career in the Spanish capital was hampered by various injuries.
This was likely to be a deciding factor in his decision to retire aged just 32, with Mikel recalling what the former Blues talent told him was the cause of such issues.
Speaking on Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE, he said: “I was talking to him the other day, he said to me, ‘Mikel, it’s not like I was not trying.’
“He said, ‘When I went to Madrid, I looked at myself and was like ok let me try, let me give it a go, let me put some effort in.’ But then I started getting injuries, my body couldn’t take it.
“‘I just looked at it and was like you know what, I’m just gonna quit.’ He said, ‘I got offers to go to Saudi Arabia, what am I going to do? I’ve got a lot of money right now, I don’t need the money.
“‘Should I go to Saudi where I’m going to take a million a week, and then what?’ He said to me, ‘I got about two or three offers to go to Saudi.’ He said, ‘Mikel, I’ve got a lot of money.’
“He said to me, ‘You know how I live my life.’ I said, ‘Yeah I know.’ He said, ‘I don’t spend too much money.’ We know he doesn’t, he’s not a guy who wears flashy stuff, he wears one pair of Nike trainers for a very long time.
“He said, ‘I don’t spend money, so I have money now to live with my family and to bring up [my children].'”
Hazard played just 76 matches across four seasons at Madrid before he and the club mutually agreed to terminate his contract in June.
He called an end to his career four months later after winning two Premier League titles, two La Liga titles and the Champions League, as well as a variety of other major and individual honours.