Chelsea winger Eden Hazard has confirmed he fell out with manager Jose Mourinho on several occasions last season, but that it’s now water under the bridge.
The 24-year-old, who was crowned the PFA’s Premier League Player of the Year in April, admitted the Portuguese coach forgives and forgets following arguments.
"I get on very well with Mourinho," he told RTL, according to Goal.com. "Last season we had two or three disagreements but with Mourinho everything is forgotten quickly."
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Indeed, it was reported at the time that Mourinho and Hazard did not see eye-to-eye, which led to intense speculation that the latter would leave Stamford Bridge last summer.
Hazard criticised Mourinho’s tactics following Chelsea’s Champions League exit to Atletico Madrid in the 2013-14 semi-finals, telling beIN Sports that the Blues were not “set up to play football”.
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“Chelsea are set up to counter-attack,” bemoaned the frustrated Belgium international, who was a target of Paris Saint-Germain.
Mourinho fired back at Hazard
But several days later, Mourinho bit back in the press - hard.
"It's normal because he's not the kind of player ready to sacrifice himself 100 per cent for the team and for his mates," the former Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss was quoted as saying by the Telegraph.
"Eden is the kind of player who is not so mentally ready to look back at his left-back and live his life for him.
“Normally you get this kind of comment from players like him: from players who can't resolve a problem like we had with the first goal. If you see the first goal, you understand where the mistake was and why we conceded.”
Relationship has improved this season
The relationship between the two men had hit an all-time low, but they went away for their respective holidays - Hazard after the World Cup finals in Brazil - and reconvened ready to settle their differences.
There have been no problems since, with Hazard becoming a far more consistent player this season than he was last term.
Hazard also committed his future to the west London outfit by signing a new five-and-a-half-year deal worth a staggering £200,000-a-week back in February.
Mourinho hails Hazard
Mourinho has only had good things to say about the former Lille star this season, and even labelled him the world’s third best player last month, ahead of the likes of Luis Suarez, Neymar and Gareth Bale.
“After Cristiano and Messi, Hazard will be next. I don't see anyone else,” Mourinho told The Sun. “You can see the potential, the evolution and the way he's been holding on to his profile as a person.
“The world still hasn't reached him. He's still a humble kid, a team player, nice and with a family life.
“But I also believe that, behind phenomenal players like Ronaldo and Messi, there's something close to an organised campaign.”
Both Hazard and Mourinho deserve credit for improving their relationship for the good of Chelsea Football Club, who are now reaping the benefits.
Is Eden Hazard the world’s third best player? Have your say in the comments below!