Real Madrid fans were left furious at Eden Hazard’s reaction to being kicked out of the Champions League on Wednesday night, after the Belgian was caught on camera joking around with his former team-mates moments after the final whistle.
Hazard – who returned to Stamford Bridge for the first time since his huge £90million transfer to Spain in 2019 – was seen all smiles and laughing with his former colleagues at full-time, which confirmed Madrid’s exit at the final hurdle.
It marks something of a breaking point for the forward, who has endured a miserable spell since arriving at the Bernabeu in June 2019, and now both Madrid supporters and the Spanish media appear to be turning on the star – who was supposed to be the leading light for the club carrying on from Cristiano Ronaldo.
Madrid had been saving Hazard for the crucial second leg, after he was able to make a brief cameo against the Blues in the opening fixture which ended as a 1-1 draw in Valdebebas.
Indeed, coach Zidane carefully managed Hazard’s game-time during Saturday’s victory over Osasuna, in order to have him at the optimum level to take on Chelsea. Ultimately, however, the plan would fail and Hazard would make little impact.
Real Madrid fans were furious at Eden Hazard’s reaction to Real Madrid’s loss on Wednesday
Immediately after the final whistle Hazard was seen laughing with ex team-mate Kurt Zouma
The Belgian was full of smiles and has irked the Madrid fanbase with his joking around
Fans of the Spanish giants wasted little time in taking to social media to express their frustration at his reaction after the 2-0 loss, which saw Thomas Tuchel‘s side book their place in the Istanbul final with a 3-1 aggregate victory.
Despite Madrid’s exit, Hazard seemed in high spirits after the game and was filmed joking and hugging Frenchman Kurt Zouma, who he was known to get along well with during his time in west London.
The Madrid forward also shared an intimate moment with Azpilicueta, and appeared to wish him well for the final in Turkey against Premier League rivals Manchester City.
One fan wrote: ‘Eden Hazard just got knocked out of the Champions League and this is his reaction after the game’.
Hazard, who was supposed to be Madrid’s next superstar, looked a shadow of himself on his first return to Stamford Bridge since sealing a huge £90million transfer in June 2019
Hazard had been saved specially for the match but made little impact and was subbed late on
While another added: ‘Eden Hazard could genuinely not care less about Real Madrid.’
Spanish daily Marca quickly republished the images of Hazard at full-time online, along with the condemning headline: ‘The image of Hazard laughing after the elimination that outrages madridismo.’
Real Madrid fans were not only disappointed by his actions off the pitch, but his performance on the pitch as well.
Having been fit for just 755 minutes of Champions League football this season, fans were hoping the return of the talisman to the squad would be inspired and help their side reach yet another European final.
Belgian has struggled with injuries and flopped since his move to Spain, and is at a crossroads
However, he failed to make his mark on the game and was hooked late on by boss Zidane in what turned out to be a miserable night for the Spanish giants.
Chelsea put in a solid performance in the second leg to quickly swat away any suggestion of a Madrid turnaround.
Goals from Timo Werner and boyhood fan Mason Mount were enough to put the contest out of sight, after Christian Pulisic’s strike in the first leg gave the Blues a decisive away advantage – cancelling out Karim Benzema’s sublime effort.
Chelsea will now face Pep Guardiola and City on May 29th, as they bid to deny the soon-to-be Premier League champions a first Champions League trophy.
Fans continued to pile in on social media to both criticise and mock Hazard – with many joking he was secretly playing for Chelsea the whole time.
Other supporters shared the same opinion, writing: ‘Hazard played against Real Madrid and this is evidence. How can you be laughing this hard when you just lost a #UCL Semi final?’
Another fan compared his reaction to that of Cristiano Ronaldo during his time at Real Madrid, saying: ‘Ronaldo’s reaction after CL s.f exit vs Hazard’s reaction after CL s.f exit Different priorities’.
Hazard still has three years remaining on his lucrative five-year deal which he signed in Madrid, and is understood to be the club’s highest earner behind captain Sergio Ramos and Welshman Gareth Bale.
The Belgian scored 110 goals in 352 games for Chelsea after joining from Lille in 2012.
He brought an end to his Chelsea career in spectacular fashion before signing for Madrid, scoring twice as the Blues won the Europa League final in his last game with the club.