Eden Hazard has already noticed a big difference between the fans in England and their Spanish counterparts after his move from Chelsea to Real Madrid this summer.
The Belgian joined Madrid for £130 million in June after a two year-long transfer saga.
And after making his long-awaited debut for Real this weekend, Hazard spoke about the cultural difference between the two clubs.
“I think that here the fans are really fans,” he said. “In England there are not so many fans, people there like football and everyone, young people, adults, teenagers, are really interested in their football, but they are not so fanatical about their teams.”
He added: “At the time I was in Chelsea and we lost, we were disappointed as were the fans, but I never felt it was a disaster.
“It is different in Spain. Football is everything to them and it is up to the players to give everything.”
“When you are at Real Madrid, even if it is my first year, talking to the fans, they always expect you to win the Champions League,” he continued. “That is why I think there is so much expectation placed on this competition and that is why the club has won it more than any other team.”
Whilst potentially surprising, Hazard’s comments are unlikely to irk Chelsea fans too much – the Belgian gave Blues fans seven unforgettable years of scintillating performances, and never kicked up a fuss about leaving.
Hazard himself even admitted that he had not planned on playing for the club for so long.
“When I was at Chelsea, I already knew that my dream was to play for [Real Madrid] someday,” he confessed. “I hadn’t expected to play seven years at Chelsea, but in the end everything went well and I had the chance to win something every year. I think that’s why I stayed there so long.”