Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard has admitted that he is starting to feel the 'wear and tear' of being a professional footballer after claiming that he feels 'targeted' by opponents looking to limit his quality and impact.
Hazard has been playing regular senior football since 2008 when he broke into the first team at Lille as a 17-year-old. And that debut full season is the only one in his career to date in which he has played fewer than 43 games.
"I am feeling the wear and tear, I have been playing football as a professional for more than ten years now," the Belgian is quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.
"I'm 27 now and starting to get older, so I have to take more care of my body. I have been doing yoga since I came to Chelsea. I am not happy about it [being targeted by opponents] but it's part of football. The referee tries to do his job and I try to do mine."
Spinning being fouled into a positive, he added, "I guess when I am on the floor I can win free kicks so every free kick with Chelsea is a chance to score more goals."
Hazard's admission may make some Chelsea fans feel a little uneasy about his future at the club. He is yet to sign a new contract and has openly admitted that he remains unsure about whether to remain at Stamford Bridge or look for a fresh challenge.
Real Madrid have been heavily linked with a move and would appear to be his club of choice should he move on from west London. La Liga has a reputation for being less physically intense than the Premier League, something which could influence Hazard in any decision.