Gianfranco Zola is a former Chelsea striker who played between 1993 and 2003. He was an assistant coach to Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri during the 2018-19 season. He has experienced Chelsea both as a player and as a coach.
Zola describes a player who constantly clashed with Sarri at Chelsea’s training center. The player had the best qualities, but he was labeled a “lazy genius. Instead of leading by example and working hard, he tried to avoid training at all costs, which is why he clashed with Sarri.
The main character is, you guessed it, Eden Hazard.
The ace played for Chelsea from 2012 to 2019 and was dubbed the ‘King of Chelsea’. Beyond Chelsea, he was recognized as the best attacker in the English Premier League (EPL). In seven seasons with Chelsea, he scored 110 goals in 352 appearances and won six titles, including two league championships.
In 2019, Azar moved to Real Madrid. He went as a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, the best striker in the world. And it paid off. The younger Azpilicueta was fine at Chelsea, but there was no way the aging German genius could hold up.
Azpilicueta was labeled the worst “cheat” in Real Madrid history, sent packing, and retired from the game. It was a sad end for a lazy genius.
Zola opened up about Azar’s training attitude during his time at Chelsea. “He often clashed with Sarri,” Zola told a podcast. He was a player who drove Sarri crazy sometimes.”
“It was Azhar’s demeanor on the training field. When Sari was training, Azhar didn’t like repetitions. He would say, ‘OK coach,’ put his head down and not do it. This was the routine at the training center,” he remembers.
Finally, Zola claims that “Azhar knew that he was too good, and he knew that he had the ability to win games on his own, so he wanted to do something else on the training field, something fun, not training.”