Cesc Fabregas has urged formerÂ ChelseaÂ team-mate Eden Hazard to move toÂ Real Madrid, stating that the Spanish capital is the perfect stage for the attacker to win the Ballon d’Or and truly announce himself as one of football’s best.
The Blues have set their asking price for the Belgian at â‚¬130 million (Â£115m/$145m) despite him entering the final year of his contract, with talks currently ongoing over a move that will see the 28-year-old link up with his idol Zinedine Zidane.
Fabregas, meanwhile, left Chelsea forÂ MonacoÂ in January but made the trip to Baku to see Hazard steal the headlines in aÂ Europa LeagueÂ final match-up between two of the Spaniard’s former teams.
A man who emerged a two-goal hero in a 4-1 win over Arsenal revealed after the victory that he may have played his last game for the Stamford Bridge side, and Fabregas is excited to see what his good friend can achieve inÂ La Liga.
“It is a difficult situation and a difficult opinion for me to have,â€ Fabregas toldÂ Goal.Â â€œHe has been at Chelsea â€“ and I don’t want people to think I am being critical of the club here â€“ but I think it is time that Eden leaves and tries something else.
“I know he always says he doesn’t care about the Ballon d’Or, but deep down it is something that I think every player feels would be a nice thing.Â I think I believe more than he does that he can win the Ballon d’Or, definitely. I know his ability. I know what he can do. I have played with the very best.
“I know that the talent is there. Now this year he has scored a lot of goals as well. He got a lot of assists, his link up is great. He has got everything in his locker to be the best.Â That’s why I want him to be the best. That’s why I think he deserves a team at his right level to allow him to be the best.
“I think at Chelsea, he could never win it. Not because Chelsea is not good enough or anything like that but there are teams and clubs that are so big with their image around the world that it makes a big difference. I think that at Real Madrid that Eden would win everything.
“He would kill it. He would be brilliant. I have no doubts. He is 28 – it is his last chance to have this. It is now or never. The other option is to stay at Chelsea, which could be a great move for him but only if he really wants it, is happy and he believes in the future of the team.
“That’s the other thing. After seven years of winning a lot at Chelsea, I think it is time to try something else.”
Chelsea’s return to theÂ Champions LeagueÂ came first through a top-four Premier League finish, as the club ended the year in third place above the likes ofÂ Tottenham, Arsenal andÂ Manchester United.
Their Europa League win, meanwhile, will see the club move from Pot 2 to Pot 1 for next season’s return to the elite European competition and denied their rivals Arsenal a spot in it next season.
Fabregas believes that the European triumph was a major achievement and that it is harder than it looks to win it, even if some of the opposition are comparatively weak to the Blues.
“It has been a long season,” he added. “I think the teams that make it from the beginning to the end of the Europa League normally means that they will play a lot of games during the season. It is a really long competition, it starts really early and finishes really late.
“There is always more games than the Champions League even. It is really tough, not necessarily because of the opponents but because of travelling. Especially becauseÂ EnglandÂ is a really demanding league where you have the [Carabao] Cup on top of it.
“I was part of the team, played in practically all the group stage and captained the team two times. Even if I didn’t get a medal, I don’t care. However you want to look at it is fine, but I did feel part of it.
“I don’t even know where all my medals are so it isn’t something I care about much. It has been a really demanding season for Chelsea as well. They are one of the teams that has played the most games in Europe this season. That tells you a lot.
“That’s why I think that both teams in a way deserved in their own way to make it. Chelsea did their job also reaching the Champions League. For Arsenal, it was the game of the season. They played for everything in one night. It was a more important game for Arsenal than Chelsea.”