Real Madrid's Hazard: Title-winning season 'the worst of my career'

Courtois sinks incredible football, basketball trick shot (0:14)

Real Madrid's Thibaut Courtois shows off an amazing combination of football and basketball skills poolside. (0:14)

Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard has described this year as "the worst season of my career" after struggling with a persistent ankle injury since his €100 million move from Chelsea last summer.

Hazard played an hour in the 2-1 win over Villarreal on Thursday that handed them the La Liga title with a seven-point lead over Barcelona with one game left to play.

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"This year we won the title collectively. For me, at an individual level, I've had the worst season of my career for sure," Hazard told France Info.

The 29-year-old suffered an ankle fracture in November and again on his return three months later, requiring surgery in March which was expected to see him miss the rest of the season.

La Liga's suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic allowed Hazard to recover in time to take part in the competition's return, but he has not appeared comfortable.

The Belgium international has played six times since the restart, been an unused substitute in two matches and been left out of the squad entirely for three games, including the last of the domestic season at Leganes on Sunday.

Hazard will now be hoping to return to full fitness for Real Madrid's Champions League clash against Manchester City on Aug. 7 as they look to overturn a 2-1 first leg deficit.

"It was a bit of a strange season, with everything that happened," he said. "The next thing has to be the Champions League, even if it's going to be difficult, because we have to play at Manchester City and they have a very good team."

Hazard praised coach Zinedine Zidane, who has now won two league titles and three Champions Leagues in under five seasons as Real Madrid manager.

"We all knew Zidane as a player, he was the best. As a coach, we don't even have to describe it," he said.

"He has proven, in just a few years, that he is already one of the best. He is a simple person who knows how to say things at the right time. He trusts his players and his players trust him, that's why it works."

Madrid's defensive solidity has been a key factor in their end-of-season run -- conceding just four goals in a 10 game winning streak that saw them overtake Barcelona.

"In my career I've known great defenders such as John Terry or Vincent Kompany. I think that Raphael Varane, even though he's still young, is already one of the best central defenders in history," Hazard said. "The pairing he forms with Sergio Ramos is great.

"As for Ferland Mendy... if the club recruited him, it's because he has qualities, you can see it. It is never easy to arrive at a club when you're young, and at a club like that. He has shown that he represents the future."