Ahead of his move to Roma, Jose Mourinho agreed to team up with British outlet talkSPORT for their coverage of the ongoing Euro 2020 tournament. A recent discussion with the popular station saw Eden Hazard, whom he worked with during his time at Chelsea, emerge as a point of discussion.
The pair spent time together at Stamford Bridge in the Special One's second spell with the Blues, with the Belgian superstar playing a crucial role in their 2014/15 Premier League-winning campaign. However, the following season saw the current Real Madrid star endure a horrible drop in form, which contributed to Jose's sacking later on.
Chelsea struggled to perform without Eden at his best, leading to a rumored bust-up between the pair. While Mourinho did not touch upon those speculations, the Portuguese tactician gave his honest assessment of Hazard, who is currently at the European Championship captaining his national team.
In one candid sentence, Jose summed up his mixed thoughts on the player, contrasting the best he has to offer with the worst aspect of his game. "An amazing player with awful training," was Mourinho's damning verdict on the Blancos talent.
This comment will raise no eyebrows among the Merengues fan base given that the former Chelsea attacker has twice reported for duty at the Santiago Bernabeu for the new season having put on weight. However, it's surprising to see a former manager question a former player's professionalism to this extent.
"He gets on the pitch every morning and he doesn't work much. You can imagine what he could be if he was a top professional," Jose added.
It should be stressed that the Special One, who has a reputation for falling out with players, did also lavish the Red Devils captain with praise, hailing him as a great guy with immense natural talent.
"But he's an incredible guy," Mourinho said. "He's an incredible family man, and it seems like he doesn't belong to this generation of players.
"He's a quiet guy who's focused on his family, his children, his parents. He has a very quiet life.
"But when he gets onto the pitch in the morning he doesn't do much work. What you see when he plays isn't the reflection of a week's work, but of his natural talent."
Hazard, who endured an injury-ravaged 2020/21 season, has been limited to a substitute role at Euro 2020 so far. The 30-year-old featured in Belgium's two opening games, a 3-0 win over Russia and a 2-1 triumph over Denmark, but came off the bench on both occasions as he continues to work up his fitness.