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John Obi Mikel brands Eden Hazard ‘the laziest footballer he’s ever seen’ in extraordinary radio interview



The 35-year-old former Nigeria international, who announced his retirement from professional football in September last year, enjoyed a trophy-laden 11-year spell at Stamford Bridge.

After signing for the club in 2006, Mikel lifted every major honour during his time with the Blues, including two Premier League titles, the Champions League and the Europa League.

He made a total of 372 appearances in a Chelsea shirt, and experienced arguably the most successful spell in the club’s history alongside John Terry, Frank Lampard and Eden Hazard.

So what was it like back then? Speaking to radio show Dubai Eye 103.8, the former midfielder opened up about the standards in training, although a certain Belgium international didn’t exactly get stuck in.

“I never knew how much training meant to these guys until I joined Chelsea,” Mikel said.

“The way they play in games is the way they train. There was tackles flying in, there was fights at the training ground. There’s people proper boxing at the training ground because everybody wants to be in the team come the weekend.

“There is no place for you to like be like, ‘Okay, I don’t want to train today.’ The only player I saw that did that and got away with it was Eden Hazard.”

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After the radio host mentioned that John Terry said the same thing about Hazard, former midfielder Mikel added: “Oh, he never trained! He was the laziest footballer I’ve ever seen in my life! But come the weekend he produced. He was the Man of the Match.”

Mikel was then asked if he was surprised that it didn’t pan out for him in the way that everyone expected in Spain with Real Madrid.

Mikel was then asked if he was surprised that it didn’t pan out for him in the way that everyone expected in Spain with Real Madrid.

Hazard penned a five-year deal with Los Blancos in the summer of 2019 for a hefty fee, but he has so far failed to make a real impression at the Bernabeu following a number of injuries and setbacks.

“I actually think, when you look at him now, he’s lost a little weight,” he said. “But when he was at Chelsea, the night before game, he sat there for like 20 minutes after eating rice pudding. He likes his food. But then he goes to bed, wakes up in the morning and produces at 3pm.”

The former Nigeria international continued: “We just let him do whatever he wanted in training. He stood there, when the training started. He plays in one position. He was like, ‘Can you pass me the ball?’ And we’re like, ‘No, we’re not passing you the ball because we’ve been running the whole time.’

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“And then he goes in, after training, and just mucks about. But come the weekend, he just produced the goods.”

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