The 30-year-old forward endured eight injuries last season and has already missed more than 50 games for Real since his move from Chelsea in 2019 for an initial fee of £88million.
Hazard – who has started just two games since January – has therefore faced criticism from Madrid fans over his failure to stay fit and has reportedly turned up overweight to both of his pre-seasons at the Bernabeu.
Hazard has faced criticism from Real Madrid fans for failing to stay fit since his move there
Mourinho spent more than two years with Hazard at Chelsea before the Portuguese boss’ second spell at Stamford Bridge was brought to an end when he was sacked in December 2015. They combined to deadly effect when Chelsea cruised to the Premier League title in 2015 – Mourinho’s third English crown -with Hazard playing the best football of his career.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Mourinho agreed with the former Nigeria international and insisted Hazard ‘doesn’t work much’ in training sessions and claimed he would be a much better player if he showed more professionalism in between matchdays.
‘The truth about Eden Hazard? The truth is what you see from him, he is an amazing player with awful training,’ Mourinho said.
‘You can only 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 and is totally focused 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 gets onto the pitch you don’t see the reflection of a week of work, you just see a reflection of his talent.
‘He is this amazing player and you can imagine if he was a top professional. When he went to Real Madrid I thought “wow, this guy is going to the biggest club in the world and is going to feel this huge pressure to be always at the top, this guy is going to win the Golden Ball, because he is amazing”.
‘But in terms of his fitness, his speed, his condition, he would be a much better player [if he trained properly]. What you see is just the talent that got Eden to where he is.
‘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.’
The duo have enjoyed an amicable relationship since Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea, with Hazard revealing in 2016 that he texted the Portuguese to apologise for the Blues underperforming and therefore sitting 16th in the table prior to his departure.
‘I sent him the message to say I was sorry he had gone and … well … just that I was sorry,’ he told The Guardian five years ago.
‘We’d enjoyed all that success together last season, but this time round we hadn’t. I felt a little bit guilty because I’d been player of the year. I’d been one of the most decisive players, and this year I’d performed less well.
‘I hadn’t been at the same level. So I sent that text to Jose and he came back to me, wishing me all the best for the future.
‘For a team of champions to go through what we have this year even I can’t explain. Things have been better recently, but we’re still not winning games quite as we used to. No one can put his finger on what’s happened at Chelsea.’
Then two years later the Belgium star said he would like to work with Mourinho again at some point in his career, admitting he had been ‘out of shape’ after returning from holidays in the summer prior to Mourinho’s sacking at Chelsea.
‘If I’m now asked one coach with whom I want to work again, then I say: ‘Mourinho’,’ Hazard told Belgian outlet HLN in 2018.
‘Mourinho’s image of an extremely defensive coach isn’t completely right. In 12 years I’ve only had one bad season – the last six months under Mourinho – and it was partly my fault,’ added Hazard.
‘After the title, we asked Mourinho for extra holidays. I came back totally out of shape. We didn’t win, we got into a sort of routine – training, training without having fun. It was better for all parties that the collaboration came to an end.’
Mourinho returned the favour a few days later when he was manager of Manchester United, saying: ‘I think he is a nice kid. We had a good relationship and we were champions together.
‘He was, for the first time, the best player in the Premier League with me, so I think the feelings are good.
‘I would love to have him at Manchester United, but I don’t think Chelsea would sell him. He is the kind of player that can make a huge difference.’