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Today is the start of something beautiful, vows Hazard after Real Madrid debut

18:52 GMT+3 14/09/2019
Eden Hazard Real Madrid 2019-20
More than three months after completing his €100m move from Chelsea, the Belgian returned from the thigh injury that has kept him out since pre-season

Eden Hazard says he is looking forward to creating "something beautiful" at Real Madrid after finally making his competitive debut for the club.

The 28-year-old came on for the final 30 minutes of Madrid’s 3-2 win at home to Levante in La Liga on Saturday, more than three months after completing his €100 million (£88m/$112m) move from Chelsea over the summer.

A thigh injury sustained in pre-season had kept him out of action for the first phase of the season prior to the international break, but manager Zinedine Zidane will now be looking to work him back to full match fitness.

“I am very happy that I was able to come on,” Hazard told Real Madrid TV. “When you’ve been out for a while, it’s important to get some rhythm.

“I hope today is the start of something beautiful for me at this club. I want to enjoy my football, my team-mates, and Real Madrid. This stadium is unique, I felt the support and three points are good for our confidence.”

It was a nervous afternoon at the Bernabeu as, after Madrid had led 3-0 at half-time, Levante fought back in the second half and threatened what would have been a third straight league draw for the home side.

Zidane has spoken of the need to ease Hazard back into action but, with a difficult end to September ahead, he will no doubt be relieved to have him available at last. A home clash with Osasuna provides some respite from difficult away games at Sevilla and Atletico Madrid, plus Wednesday’s trip to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

The Madrid boss spoke of the added attacking drive Hazard brought to his side, adding that he wasn’t concerned by his side’s defensive performance.

"Hazard brought a lot of verticality into the game and was very good on the ball," Zidane said.

"But what he needs now is to train more. He has only done four workouts with the team.

"The defence doesn't worry me, although we have to improve and we are going to do it.

"The second half was more complicated for us, especially at the beginning. When the opponent scores a goal after three minutes it is difficult.

"But we got three points. We must not look for excuses, the important thing is to keep the first part of the game and play more minutes as the first part. We can improve a lot, we have to play better."