Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Belgian soccer star Eden Hazard confirmed rumors of his weight gain before joining Real Madrid by saying he gained 11 pounds due to eating over the holiday season.
Hazard has struggled to stay healthy and produce during his Real Madrid tenure. He has just one score in 13 games for the La Liga power since signing from Chelsea in July. He was criticized for gaining weight when he arrived at Real Madrid for preseason training.
"It is true. I will not hide it," Hazard told Belgian magazine Sport/Foot. "When I am on vacation, I am on vacation. I put on five kilos [11 pounds] this summer. I am one of those who puts on weight very quickly then loses it very quickly, if I pay attention.
"When I was at Lille I weighed 72 kilos but then I gained muscle and went to 75 kilos. On a bad day I can weigh 77. In the summer I went up to 80 kilos but I lost it again 10 days later."
Hazard sustained a fracture in his right ankle in December. He is still recovering from the injury and worked alone during Real Madrid's Wednesday training session. Real Madrid stars Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema are also recovering from injuries.
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane spoke about Hazard's injury status before the Spanish Super Cup, ruling the Belgian star out for the tournament. Hazard did not travel with the team to Saudi Arabia for the Super Cup. Zidane said he hoped he could return to play soon after the tournament, which ended Sunday.
Hazard was named the best player on the Belgian national team in 2019, his third consecutive year earning the honor. He scored five goals and had seven assists in eight international matches in 2019.
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was one of Hazard's critics when he joined Real Madrid. Wenger, who frequently faced Hazard while he was with Chelsea, connected Hazard's weight gain to his frequent injuries.
"I feel we have not seen the Hazard we've known in England yet," Wenger told beIN Sports. "He was not physically fit after he was injured.
"He's not a player usually impressed by anything, but he looked to me like he does not have the same confidence he had at Chelsea."
Real Madrid faces Sevilla in a La Liga clash at 10 a.m. EST Saturday in Madrid. The Spanish club battles Unionistas in Copa del Rey play at 3 p.m. Jan. 22