The former Arsenal skipper returned to the Premier League in the summer of 2014 from Barcelona and, in tandem with Hazard, helped inspire a side which cantered to the title.
Despite having built a formidable looking team, Mourinho departed in acrimonious circumstances midway through the following campaign, having fallen out with a number of senior players, including Hazard.
Speaking earlier this week, Mourinho claimed that Hazard’s varying levels of application have prevented him from achieving the consistency that would have helped him truly realise his full potential.
He told talkSPORT: ‘The truth is that amazing player that you see is an amazing player with awful training. ‘You can imagine what he could be with a super-professional attitude in training.
‘In the end, he is an amazing kid, he is an incredible family man. He looks like he doesn’t belong to this generation of players, he’s very quiet, he’s totally focussed on family, on kids, on parents, on a very quiet life.
‘But he gets onto the pitch every morning and he doesn’t work much. When he goes onto the pitch, you don’t see the reflection of a week’s work, you just see the reflection of his talent.
‘So he is this amazing player, and you can imagine if he was a top professional. But in terms of his fitness, his speed, his condition, he would be a much better player [if he trained harder].’
Fabregas concurred with Mourinho’s view on Hazard’s performance on the training ground, but believes his struggles at Real Madrid, whom he joined in the summer of 2019, have more to do with the ankle injuries which have forced him to miss so much football over the course of the last two years.
He told the Daily Telegraph: ‘I saw that Jose Mourinho was recently critical of his training and is it true that sometimes maybe he seems like he doesn’t care in training or doesn’t approach training the way he should? Probably, yes, but it is not really fair to judge him against two players like Cristiano and Leo, who are different animals.
‘You also have to remember that Eden has broken his ankle three times and the moment when he moved to Real Madrid and I felt it was time for him to explode and do something really special, the luck didn’t go in his favour.
‘Unfortunately, you cannot control when you have the ball and someone comes up behind you and kicks you, and this has been happening to Eden even before I started playing with him.
‘Jose was always complaining that Eden was getting kicked and wasn’t getting any protection and now, unfortunately, we have seen the result of that. He’s a very strong player, he keeps taking the ball, getting kicked, getting back up, continuing to play and because of this the defenders have to kick him harder and harder to keep him down.’
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