Eden Hazard admitted he has fulfilled ‘a dream’ after being unveiled as a Real Madrid player at the Santiago Bernabeu on Thursday night.
Hazard has signed a five-year-deal worth a reported £400,000-a-week and posed with a Real Madrid shirt for the first time before addressing to the media and the club’s supporters.
After conducting a short speech in the presidential suite, Hazard slipped into more familiar attire of shirts and shorts as he emerged from the tunnel and on to the hallowed turf at the Bernabeu.
😘 The #RMFans ask for @hazardeden10 to kiss the badge… AND HE DOES! #WelcomeHazard | #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/3ioqxJvTSm
He waved to the fans, who gave him a rousing reception on his first day, before he showed off with some keepy-uppies and tricks to the delight of supporters.
Hazard was then urged to kiss the badge and he duly obliged, prompting the loudest cheer of his unveiling.
Having earlier admitted his Spanish is not yet up to scratch, he kept his message on the pitch brief.
The Belgian said: ‘Thank you all very much. Hala Madrid!’
Before the fans saw him in person, he conducted a short briefing alongside Real president Florentino Perez, with both outlining their delight at the deal being finalised.
Wearing a pristine grey suit, Hazard sat down next to Perez and his family for the presentation.
Broadcast on Real Madrid TV, the Belgian said: ‘I am going to speak in French, I still need to improve my Spanish.
‘I am looking forward to putting on this shirt and defending the shirt. As the president said, it was a dream to play for this club and now I am here.’
Perez added: ‘You are where you wanted to be – this was one of your dreams. Now one of your dreams has come true.
‘This will be your home and you will feel and experience great passion. From day one you will realise the most important thing here is the fans, those who love Real Madrid.
‘To play for this club was your biggest dream and thanks to your hard work and talent you have joined Real. The fans will be behind you in every game. The fans know you are unique and your brand of football is special.’
Earlier on Thursday, the Belgian passed his medical before his official unveiling.
He sealed his £150m move last week and was pictured arriving at La Moraleja University Hospital on Thursday afternoon.
Footage showed Hazard, who will wear the club’s iconic No 7 jersey, arriving at the hospital in a car and then getting out to greet waiting supporters.
The former Chelsea star is the fifth summer signing by Real. He will be joined at the club by fellow new boys Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy, Eder Militao and Rodrygo Goes.
The Belgium star became the club’s record-signing when his move from Chelsea was finally concluded last Friday.
On Thursday night, the club had wanted to break their attendance record for a player presentation but fell short.
🙌🏟 ¡El madridismo está listo para dar la bienvenida a @hazardeden10 desde las 19h00 en el Bernabéu! #WelcomeHazard | #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/Z11cwvMBJ5
By 5pm, and with the Madrid sun still beating down, there was a line of expectant supporters right around the perimeter of the stadium, and on two sides of the arena the queues were five or six deep.
The Hazard scarves were on sale, too. ‘I have shifted quite a few,’ one stall holder told Sportsmail, although his next potential customer was not impressed when he enquired after the price and was told €1.
Spanish outlet Marca are claiming that Madrid have laid down some ambitious plans to give Hazard the grandest of welcomes with hopes of outdoing Cristiano Ronaldo’s unveiling back in 2009.
Around 70,000 fans turned out for the presentation of Portugal star Ronaldo and Madrid were aiming to surpass that. Hazard’s presentation on Thursday was even scheduled for 7pm local time in a bid to make it more accessible for fans to attend.
It comes after Jovic received his grand unveiling on Wednesday. The Serbian striker signed his contract with club president Perez before wearing the club’s iconic white strip on the pitch as he did some keepy-uppies in front of supporters.