Chelsea beat Real 2-0 on Wednesday in the second leg of the semifinals yesterday, Wednesday, to beat 3-1 in the aggregate score. Hazard, who moved from Chelsea to Real in 2019, failed to make an imprint in the two matches after returning from injury.
After the final whistle, the cameras captured footage of the Belgian striker congratulating Chelsea players Curt Zuma and Edouard Mendy and laughing with them, and the pictures spread on social media amid criticism from Real fans.
“Someone has to explain to me because I don’t understand,” Javier Balboa, a former Real winger, wrote on Twitter, attaching the message to an angry facial expression. Analysts and former players also expressed surprise at Hazard’s behavior.
Former Liverpool player Don Hutchinson said he had seen “strange scenes” and would not have expected similar behavior from Cristiano Ronaldo, who won the title four times with Real and once with Manchester United.
“Eden Hazard is laughing with Curt Zuma and Edward Mendy in the Champions League semi-finals. I know they are friends but I can’t imagine Cristiano Ronaldo leaving the stadium laughing,” Hutchinson told the BBC.
Hazard’s career has been damaged by injuries since his arrival in Spain two seasons ago, to become the most expensive deal in Real’s history, which prevented him from appearing at his best level.
Real coach Zinedine Zidane said he had no regrets about pushing Hazard and defender Sergio Ramos into the Chelsea meeting despite the duo’s return from injury recently.