August 22, 2019
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Hazard: I'm not a Galactico yet but I hope to become one at Real Madrid

Madrid, Jun 13 (efe-epa).- Eden Hazard said here Thursday at his first press conference as a Real Madrid player that he does not consider himself a superstar yet but hopes to become one in the future.

"I'm not a Galactico. Not yet," the 28-year-old said, using the label for a group of expensive mega-stars including Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Ronaldo (Luis Nazario de Lima), David Beckham and Robinho that Real Madrid signed between 2000 and 2005.

"I hope to be one someday. I'm Eden Hazard ... I'm going to start here from zero. But I don't consider myself a Galactico. I'm a very good player," said Hazard, who earlier Thursday was unveiled in the VIP box at the grounds of Santiago Bernabeu stadium following a trouble-free medical check-up.

The Belgian attacking midfielder, who spoke in French during the ceremony, recalled that he had always wanted to suit up for Real Madrid.

"I've dreamed of this moment since I was very little, since I starting playing in the backyard of my house with my brothers. Since that moment, I started supporting Real Madrid ... Later I went to France and England, but being able to wear the Real Madrid jersey is an honor. I can't wait for the (2019-2020) season to start," said Hazard, who played for Ligue 1 side Lille from 2007 to 2012 before starring for Premier League club Chelsea for seven seasons.

He said the chance to play under Zidane, who in March returned to coach Real Madrid after a wildly successful first stint from 2016-2018, was a big motivating factor because the Frenchman was his idol as a young boy.

"The fact that he's the coach of Real Madrid was an important factor ... My dream is to enjoy the game on the field, to win matches. When you play at Real Madrid, you want to win trophies, to try to win the most titles possible" and make a mark on that storied club's history.

Hazard, who has signed a five-year contract with Real Madrid, also said that he first spoke with Florentino Perez during an award ceremony last season and that the Real Madrid president told him it was time for him to make his move to the Spanish-league titans.

"I was very pleased that he told me that. I'm here now and I hope we can win a lot of things together," Hazard, who left London club Chelsea after the two clubs reached a transfer deal worth a reported 100 million euros ($113 million).

Hazard, who scored a brace to lead the Blues to a 4-1 victory over crosstown rival Arsenal in the May 29 Europa League final, also looked back on Real Madrid's failure to win a title in 2018-2019 after having captured four Champions League crowns in five seasons.

"This year wasn't so good, and I hope to start a new cycle" with the club's other new signings as well as veteran Real Madrid players who already have won numerous titles.

Asked if he would take over the mantle of team leader, Hazard said Real Madrid have many players who fit the bill and stressed that what's important for him is the group as a whole.

"I'm coming here to try to make the group better with my feints and goals. I expect that all of us together will do a great job. As far as being a leader, I have been on the (Belgian national team) and at Chelsea, and I think I'll be the same here. I'm going to try to do everything I can to win games."

The star midfielder also addressed the issue of whether it made sense for Real Madrid to sign a player who will turn 29 in January.

"The best age for a soccer player is between the ages of 27 and 33. The dream of playing for Real Madrid was always there. I thought now was the time to mark a before and after in my career. I'm coming to the best club in the world," he said.

As captain of a powerhouse Belgian side that finished third in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and recipient of the Silver Ball as that tournament's second-best player, Hazard is the biggest name among a group of summer signings that Real Madrid hopes will help lead the club back to the promised land.

Late Wednesday, Real Madrid announced that they had reached a deal for the transfer of French left-back Ferland Mendy from Ligue 1 side Lyon and said the defender had signed a six-year contract.

Earlier Wednesday, the Blancos presented Luka Jovic in a ceremony in which Perez hailed the 21-year-old Serbian international striker, who starred last season for Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt, as "one of the greatest goal scorers in Europe."

Real Madrid also have added Brazilian central defender Eder Militao (acquired from Portuguese side Porto) as part of their summer shopping spree.

Brazil's Rodrygo Goes, meanwhile, is set to join the club over the summer in a deal reached a year ago with Brazilian club Santos.

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