Eden Hazard drove Maurizio Sarri CRAZY at Chelsea for specific reason in training, reveals Gianfranco Zola… but admits the Belgian was 'always there in the crucial moments' for the Blues that season
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Eden Hazard drove Maurizio Sarri CRAZY at Chelsea for specific reason in training, reveals Gianfranco Zola… but admits the Belgian was 'always there in the crucial moments' for the Blues that season

Dec 19, 2023
  • Maurizio Sarri spent one season as Chelsea boss during the 2018-19 season
  • Eden Hazard was the Blues’ star man that year as he scored 21 goals in total
  • Erik ten Hag has not located the soul and heartbeat of United and, without it, they are screwed – Listen to It’s All Kicking Off 

Gianfranco Zola has revealed that Eden Hazard used to drive Maurizio Sarri ‘crazy’ when he was Chelsea boss.

Blues icon Zola was Sarri’s assistant for his one season in charge in 2018-19, during which the club came third in the Premier League and won the Europa League.

Hazard was integral to Chelsea that year, scoring 21 goals in all competitions, with his form earning him a record breaking move to Real Madrid for a fee rising to £130m.

However, despite the importance of Hazard during Sarri’s spell at the club, Zola explained how the Belgian caused him several headaches.

‘He was the player that used to drive Maurizio crazy,’ Zola told The Obi One Podcast. ‘Because we used to come to training and the routine was that one.

Gianfranco Zola revealed that Eden Hazard used to drive Maurizio Sarri 'crazy' at Chelsea

Gianfranco Zola revealed that Eden Hazard used to drive Maurizio Sarri ‘crazy’ at Chelsea 

Zola was Sarri's assistant during the Italian's one season in charge of the Blues in 2018-19

Zola was Sarri’s assistant during the Italian’s one season in charge of the Blues in 2018-19

‘And so when Maurizio was starting training, Eden would go “OK coach” and put his head down and be like that because he didn’t like repetition. 

‘He wanted to do different stuff and funny stuff because he was so good and could win games on his own.’ 

However, Zola went onto explain that although he regularly moaned about training, Hazard would never let the side down on the pitch.

He added: ‘Having said that he was fantastic because he was complaining about the training sessions and gym stuff but he was always so good for us. 

‘In the crucial moments (he would be there). There was a difficult time when we went to play away at Cardiff and we were losing and he was on bench because we were resting him.

‘The supporters were chanting against Sarri and wanted him out and Hazard came on the pitch and he completely changed the game and won it for us (Chelsea won 2-1).

Zola explained Hazard hated repetition and Sarri would often do the same things in training

Zola explained Hazard hated repetition and Sarri would often do the same things in training

Hazard scored 21 goals in all competitions that season and earnt a £130m move to Real Madrid

Hazard scored 21 goals in all competitions that season and earnt a £130m move to Real Madrid

‘He was amazing and the way he played that year was great. He saved us so many times with his ability that I can only speak highly of him as a player and as a boy.’

Sarri left the club in the summer of 2019, taking over as Juventus boss amid a desire to be closer to his family in Italy. 

Meanwhile, Hazard – who was known as a notoriously bad trainer but a world class footballer – struggled in his four-year spell at Real Madrid, scoring just seven goals.

The 32-year-old – who also won 126 caps for Belgium – announced his retirement from football in October. 

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