Real Madrid unveil Eden Hazard before thousands of fans at Bernabeu

Eden Hazard said on Thursday he wants to become a "galactico" at Real Madrid and believes he is joining the club at the perfect moment in his career.

Hazard was unveiled in front of around 50,000 fans at the Santiagio Bernabeu after the Belgian's long-awaited move from Chelsea was confirmed last week.

The 28-year-old Hazard was presented with the home shirt, which was without a number, by club president Florentino Perez, moments after the Belgian had delivered a brief statement to his expectant fans.

"Hello everyone," Hazard started in Spanish, to huge cheers, before continuing in French. "It was my dream since I was small to play for Real Madrid and now I am here."

"I'm not a galactico, not yet, but I hope I will be one day," Hazard said in a press conference afterwards.

"Despite everything I've done in the past, it will be like starting again from zero. I'm not a galactico, I'm Eden Hazard, just a very good player." 

He continued, "I don’t think it is too late, I am 28 years old, the best moment for a player. I have had various phases of my career, at Lille and Chelsea, and now I felt the time was right to join the best club in the world."

Hazard (3rd, R) poses with his family and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez (C). /VCG Photo

Hazard (3rd, R) poses with his family and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez (C). /VCG Photo

Madrid confirmed the much-anticipated transfer of Hazard from Chelsea on Friday for an initial 100 million euros (113 million U.S dollars) with another 45 million in potential add-ons.

The full amount would trump the 101 million euros Madrid paid Tottenham for Gareth Bale and the 91 million euros they spent to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United.

Ronaldo attracted almost 80,000 for his presentation in 2009 and while the attendance for Hazard was not as large, this was still an impressive turnout.

Even three hours before, long queues snaked around the stadium while some supporters were seen running towards entrances they heard had suddenly been opened.

Inside, they roared as Hazard's best goals were shown on a big screen and then again when he struck a penalty into an open net.

Hazard juggled with one ball in front of the cameras and then booted dozens of them into the stands, waving and applauding as he walked around the edge of the pitch.

Hazard admitted Madrid made a move for him after the World Cup last year but insisted this was the right time to leave Chelsea.

Hazard performs tricks in front of thousands of fans at Bernabeu. /VCG Photo

Hazard performs tricks in front of thousands of fans at Bernabeu. /VCG Photo

Madrid struggled without Cristiano Ronaldo last season and Hazard will be tasked with helping to fill the void.

Despite the arrivals of Eder Militao, Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy this summer, he is the first statement signing since Zinedine Zidane was reappointed in March.

"When you play for a team like Real Madrid there is not one single star, the team is the star," Hazard said.

"I have been at Chelsea for seven years, but now I am the new guy in the team and I will try to contribute as much as possible."

Asked if he wanted to become the best player in the world at Real Madrid, Hazard said: "I will try but first I will try to be in the best team in the world.

"It is a different level. I had a lot of success with Chelsea and I want to win a lot with Madrid as well. Just to be here is a new challenge."

Hazard admitted Zidane was also a key factor in his decision.

"Everyone knows Zidane was my idol growing up," he said. "That he is the coach has been an important factor but not the only one. I already wanted to play here.

"I was a kid playing football in the garden with my brothers when I began to be a Real Madrid fan.

"Then I went to France, then to England, but being a Real Madrid player, wearing this shirt, it is an honor. I can’t wait for the season to start."

Source(s): AFP