Courtois claims Hazard is '100% staying' & looks as good as his Chelsea peak

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • Updated: 6 Jun 2021 10:34 BST
  • 4 min read
Eden Hazard has had two frustrating seasons

Eden Hazard has had two frustrating seasons

Eden Hazard looks as good as he did at his peak for Chelsea and is "100% staying" at Real Madrid, according to Thibaut Courtois.

Madrid goalkeeper Courtois, who is with Hazard preparing to play in Euro 2020 for Belgium, has been impressed by the forward over recent weeks.

READ MORE: €40,000 a minute! The incredible cost of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid

He insists any speculation about Hazard wanting an exit has been generated by the media, amid reports in Spain he had been made available on the transfer market.

Courtois has been extremely impressed by Hazard’s fitness and quality ahead of a big summer for the national team which could lead to another chance at Madrid under returning coach Carlo Ancelotti.

"Physically, he's stronger than ever and in training he looks very good, like before with the national team or at Chelsea," Courtois said to Le Soir.

"I'm 100 percent sure that he'll stay, he doesn't want to leave.

"Only the Madrid press write about a desire to leave. He wants to carry on, play injury free and win titles.

"It's been a shame to see him with problems, I've known him for a long time and we've talked a lot about imagining playing together for Real Madrid.

"He still wants to be an important player for Real Madrid and win titles, this season he's worked a lot in the gym and he's in good shape."

'Hazard can handle the pressure'

How many Real Madrid games has Eden Hazard missed through injury?

Courtois compared the treatment of Hazard to what Gareth Bale has received and insisted the Belgium star could handle the scrutiny.

"At Real Madrid, there are always criticisms all the time and for everyone," added the goalkeeper.

"Gareth Bale was criticised, but he won the Champions League and scored a brace in the final in Kiev. In Lisbon, he scored against me in the final too.

"We all know that in Madrid there is pressure and criticism from the press and the fans, but Eden can handle that.

"I know him well enough to be able to say it, he can still change everything."

Hazard at Real Madrid

There were huge hopes for Hazard when he signed from Chelsea for an initial €100 million in 2019.

He had just come off an incredible season for Chelsea, scoring 21 times and adding 17 assists, having posted impressive numbers throughout his seven seasons at Stamford Bridge.

However, Hazard has suffered repeated injury woe in his two years with Madrid and then struggled to deliver when he has been available.

He was only able to start 20 matches in his first season and then just 11 in 2020/21.

Hazard has only scored four La Liga goals and added five assists across two seasons in Spain’s top flight, while in the Champions League he has one goal and one assist across both campaigns.

At the age of 30, he has also seen his attitude questioned and his future at the highest level debated.

To make matters worse, he was forced to apologise after being caught on camera laughing at joking with his former Chelsea team-mates moments after Madrid had been eliminated in the Champions League semi-final.

But Hazard pledged his future to Madrid this week and declared in another interview that the appointment of Ancelotti was "good news for me", although he is yet to work with the Italian.

He will hope the Euros, where Belgium are among the favourites to win, will kickstart his career, with Courtois confident that will prove to be the case.

Courtois said: "If he can play a bit against Croatia and be important at the Euros, it would be great for the national team, but also for him and Real Madrid next season."