Eden Hazard jokingly asked Luka Modric if he could have Real Madrid’s No. 10 shirt… but was told to take another number.
The Belgium star was given a rapturous applause by the 50,000 Real Madrid supporters who turned out to witness the unveiling of their latest superstar at his official presentation on Thursday.
Hazard, who wore the No. 10 shirt at Chelsea after taking over from Juan Mata, hoped to persuade current Ballon d’Or winner Modric to let him wear the iconic number at the Bernabeu.
“I have been able to talk to Modric through [Mateo] Kovacic,” Hazard said. “I was joking when I asked him to lend me the No. 10.
“He said no, so I’ll have to find another number.
“But right now, the number is not important for me, I just [want] to play with this badge.”
With 10 not available, Hazard will instead be given the No. 7 jersey, which was previously worn by Cristiano Ronaldo before he departed to Juventus last summer.
After almost 12 months of intense speculation about his future, the Blues last week accepted a bid for Hazard which could rise beyond £150million.
He signed a five-year contract with Real, and underwent and passed his medical at Madrid’s La Moraleja University Hospital shortly before 7pm local time on Thursday.
After being introduced by Florentino Perez, the Real Madrid president, Hazard said: “I want to win many titles with Real Madrid, in this shirt.
“This has been my dream since I was a child and now I’m here. I just want to enjoy this moment.
“Hopefully I can write another page in the history of the club. There is not one star here but a whole team of stars.”
On his new head coach, Zinedine Zidane, Hazard added: “Everyone knows Zidane has been my idol since I was a child, and him being Madrid boss was an important factor for me coming here.
“It’s not me who decides what position I’ll play in, but I’ve always liked being on the left or playing as a number 10.”