By Tony Hughes
Zinedine Zidane has thrown his support behind Eden Hazard amid growing doubts about the winger’s Chelsea future.
The Real Madrid legend and current ‘B’ team manager refused to be drawn on whether the Belgian could move to the Bernabeu next summer.
But Zidane revealed that Hazard is his third favourite player in the world between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“After Messi and Ronaldo, Hazard is my favourite player,” Zidane said. “I love watching him because he is a player who creates things and it is often spectacular to see him play.
“Do I see him going to Real Madrid? Ask someone else. I love the player and that’s all.”
Hazard’s form has dipped dramatically this season after he was crown the double-winning Footballer of the Year for 2014-15.
He is yet to score for Chelsea this season, and speculation has increased that he could move to Spain next summer, with Real and Barcelona among his many admirers.
“I’m still a fan of Eden,” added Zidane. “Every career has its highs and lows. I have no doubts. He will be back.”
Hazard played in Belgium’s 3-1 win over Italy in Brussels on Friday night, with Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne and Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham both scoring for Marc Wilmots’ side.
Belgium are scheduled to play Spain next Tuesday in the next round of friendly internationals.