Like a child with a new toy, Eden Hazard is premiering a fresh pair of boots when he sits down with MARCA to talk all things Chelsea, Belgium, and Zinedine Zidane.

It's understandable that the winger is urgent to pull on his Nike Mercurial Vapor XIs. Speaking before his comeback from a fractured ankle, Hazard is ready to get back to his best.

After the injury, when will we see the best Eden Hazard playing for Chelsea?

"Soon, I hope. I'm already in good condition. I'll be back soon, but not in a hurry."

You're now 26 and you've also got some new boots, the Nike Mercurial Vapor XI. What aspects of your game do you think you can still improve on?

"I can improve on all aspects. Even the best players in the world need to improve because football is constantly evolving. I could score more goals, create more assists, hassle opposition players more... and better understand the game."

Chelsea have lost Terry and Matic but brought in Morata, Bakayoko, Rudiger... [Danny Drinkwater and Davide Zappacosta signed after the interview]. Is the squad stronger now?

"I don't know. We'll see at the end of the season. We won the league last year, so if we repeat that this year then we can say tat the team is stronger. We have lost some important players, but that's compensated with the new arrivals. We will see, adapting to the new squad and trying to win games."

In defending the title, who are Chelsea's biggest rivals?

"There is not just one team, in the Premier League there are at least six or seven who can win the title. Every week you have to be ready for the fight, because every week, if you aren't ready, you could lose. We will see at the end of the season who is best."

What makes Antonio Conte such a special coach?

"Everyone knows him, he's a good coach and we won the title last season. He has experience and is very focused on each game. He likes to work hard and that's the key to success."

Courtois says he wants to go as far as possible in Europe. Is the Champions League a top priority for Chelsea?

"I want to win everything, but yes, the Champions League is special because I've never won it. I got to the semi-finals four years ago and now I want to play in the final, and win it. Why not."

Chelsea have won the league twice in three years and Real Madrid have won the Champions League three times in four years, are they the team to beat in Europe?

"Well, I think at this moment Real Madrid are the best team in the world. They have won everything and have good players and a great coach. Now, the Champions League is very hard to win. As in the Premier League, anyone can win it. You never know."

Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi have dominated the Ballon d'Or since 2008, do you think you can succeed them in the future?

"Why not? I don't play for that, but to be happy on the pitch. Winning a trophy like that would be good for me, it would make me and my family happy. But it's not my goal."

Could you analyse the impact of the Spaniards at Chelsea, such as your great friend Azpilicueta?

"Yes, he is one of my best friends. Now he's the new captain next to Gary Cahill, and he has a lot of experience. Azpilicueta always gives everything on the pitch, both in games and in training. He's a pleasure to play with and to also be his friend."

What about Fabregas, one of the 'brains' of Chelsea?

"Cesc is the master. I call him The Master because he does what he wants. He can put the ball behind the defensive line, he can score big goals. He understands football very well."

How do you see Morata faring?

"I've never played with him but I'm looking forward to it. He is still very young, but he has won many titles with Juventus and Madrid, so he has a lot of experience. We need this type of player, one who can score many goals, and Alvaro can do that. We are happy with him, he is a good person, he's talkative, even in English. We are looking forward to playing together."

Finally, Diego Costa, the top scorer last season.

"Diego and I have been playing together for three years, we have won everything together except for the Champions League. It's a pleasure to play with him, he's a top player and a top person. I would like to see him come back, but I don't make the decisions. I hope he can find a solution so that we can see him back on the pitch soon."

Everybody talks about the Golden Generation at Belgium, are you ready to fight for the World Cup?

"Yes. We were ready a year ago to fight for the European Championship. Now comes the World Cup and we are ready. We have a good team and a good coach. If we want to win something we must improve and work together... But, why not? We will be able to win it."

You have a contract and are comfortable at Chelsea, but would you like to play in LaLiga one day?

"At the moment I'm good in England. I play for one of the best teams, but yes, LaLiga is special. Why not? Of course for the moment, I'll stay here."

You took the No. 10 because of Zidane's beginnings at Bordeaux, what did you admire about Zidane as a player and as a coach?

"He has won everything both as a player and as a coach. He's a special type. Everyone knows about him as a player, when we think of football we think of Zidane because he could do anything on the pitch. Even now, off the pitch, he has achieved great things. He's magical and I'm very happy to see him on the touchline."

You know Ligue 1 well, will Neymar get bored?

"It's not an easy league. Every defender is looking for you and waiting for you. But Neymar is a special player, he can do anything with the ball and is on a good team. He'll do very well."

Vinicius Jr makes Real Madrid's plan clear

While the transfer market across Europe has exploded in a way that few could have seen coming at the beginning of the summer, Real Madrid's purchase of Vinicius Junior has made clear their transfer market plan.

The early identification of talent has been absolutely crucial to Los Blancos over recent seasons with the most notable achievement in this regard being Marco Asensio.

Asensio's signing cost Real Madrid just 3.5 million euros in 2014 but it is now quite fair to categorise him as a player worth more than 100m euros given the current market.

Just how quickly the 21-year-old has developed in the Spanish capital has really energised those working behind the scenes at Valdebebas and there is now a real determination to identify such talents early and sign them before the market places them at unreachable levels.

Zinedine Zidane and Florentino Perez would have loved to have signed Kylian Mbappe this summer but ultimately his exposure at the top level of European football ensured Paris Saint-Germain were willing to offer the teenager such an astronomical salary, one which Real Madrid simply wouldn't try and compete with.

In 2017 it appears that the real value in the transfer market comes from as yet undiscovered gems and finding the next Mbappe is what Los Blancos have set their sights firmly upon.

Of course the 45m euros spent on Vinicius is clearly not cheap but the payment structure ensures that it is an investment and should he develop quickly and burst onto the mainstream scene then Real Madrid already have him secured.

Now, this isn't necessarily a new plan with the club having previous beaten a whole host of elite clubs including Bayern Munich and Barcelona to the signing of Martin Odegaard back in 2015.

The Norwegian playmaker is still trying to find his way and is currently on loan with Heerenveen in the Eredivisie but there remains hope in Madrid that he too will eventually develop and fulfil his potential.

Real Madrid is a global brand and as such their search for talent reaches every corner of the world because it is never clear just where the next superstar will emerge from.

In an era where transfer fees have gone crazy, Los Blancos are determined to be at the front of the queue when the next star does appear.

Buffon: If you're not careful then Spain can really hurt you

Italy and Gianluigi Buffon suffered a lot in their Saturday night match against Spain, losing 3-0 at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

The Juventus goalkeeper was upset with the result, but at the same time he was not too surprised, as he was fully aware of just how dangerous La Roja can be when on top form.

In an interview with MARCA, the 39-year-old opened up on a number of topics, including the Spain squad he just went up against.

Why did you decide to become a goalkeeper?

"I followed a legend when I was younger, Cameroon goalkeeper Thomas N'Kono. I saw him play at the 1990 World Cup in Italy and after that Cameroon were the team of my heart, although there were also a number of Italians who I loved."

Why have you spent so many years at Juventus?

"It's because I like the sense of belonging, which is why I spent 10 years at Parma and now 17 at Juventus. I like to work in a group of fixed people, who I get on and coexist well with. You end up feeling like an important part [of the team], so I decided to stay in it forever."

Has that idea of staying at one club become less common in modern football?

"Of course it has. It has been overcome by business. Football can be beautiful for those who watch or play it and for me it was gratifying and really beautiful to spend so many years at Parma and Juventus, because you can feel that sense of closeness with all the people there."

In recent years, Juventus is the only team to have kept pace with the giants of Europe. Why is that?

"It's because Juventus has been the club which has understood the need to have top-class directors and to plan ahead, building for the present, but also for the future."

What happened in the Champions League final against Real Madrid in Cardiff?

"We had a good first half, but we were too confident when thinking that we could play that type of game for the whole 90 minutes. We thought we could make things difficult for Real Madrid's top players, but they were stronger and deservedly won. It was a lesson for us. If we meet Real Madrid again, we'd probably change the way of approaching the game."

What did you learn from that final?

"I learned that in finals we need to find competitiveness across the whole team. One of the best attributes of Italian teams is, above all, the teamwork, as well as the defensive solidity. Yet in this final we looked to play more openly and fight Real Madrid player by player. Then we saw their superiority and understood that we could have done things better by applying other characteristics to the game. We couldn't work out what we'd need to achieve balance against them."

Was Real Madrid's superiority a mental thing?

"In this case yes, while in the past 10 years the Spanish teams, including the national team, have made certainty and conviction their thing. That gives them a lot of calm when it comes to any kind of match, something that we're maybe lacking. But I must say that at the end of it all I am satisfied with the journey Juventus went on, as playing two Champions League finals in three years means that we're also strong."

What do you think of the Spanish national team?

"Spain have already been a great team over these past 10 years. Their philosophy and way of playing has not changed, even if they've changed some interpretations of it. Speaking from experience, if you don't pay a lot of attention to them then they can really hurt you."

Did you understand Iker Casillas' departure from Real Madrid?

"I didn't understand it because I don't know the ins and outs of Real Madrid. So I don't know what was behind it all, but it makes sense that it was sad to see him go to another team."

Should Real Madrid sign a new goalkeeper, like Gianluigi Donnarumma?

"Real Madrid haven't lacked anything over the past 10 years, as they have bought the best footballers. Keylor Navas is a great goalkeeper, despite what some say. They have won two Champions League with him and he has often been important on the way to winning them. I don't believe there is a need to sign, as the results have shown that they are winning as it is."

Which strikers have caused you the most problems?

"The striker who caused me all kinds [of trouble] was Ronaldo, the Brazilian one. He was the perfect player, as he had power, speed, intuition technical skills and quickness. He was a jaw-dropping player. It seemed like he was created in a lab."

Are you worried about what life will be like without football?

"I'm not scared [about retirement] because I love life. I owe a lot to football because it has allowed me to experience incredible emotions."

What do you think lies in store in your immediate future?

"I know the future will be nice, although I don't know exactly how, given that I'm focussed on the present."

What about being a coach?

"No, I'm not attracted to that idea right now because it is a difficult and stressful job."

Does this year feel different, given that you know it's your last?

"No, the feeling is one of wanting to keep working well and meeting this season's objectives."

Do you have any dreams left to fulfil?

"The only thing I long for is to have good health to live a nice family life, along with the growth of my children, the love of my partner and to have interesting reasons to get up every morning."

What do you think your first day without football will be like?

"The good thing is that it will come in summer, when I'll take a good holiday."

De Gea: Isco will become one of the greatest

Spain's 3-0 victory over Italy will live long in the memory, not least because of the spellbinding performance of Isco, a player David de Gea believes can become even greater.

The goalkeeper spoke about his teammate and expects big things from him.

"I have known Isco for many years," he told reporters when asked about the Andalusian at Monday night's press conference.

"He doesn't surprise me, because I've seen him do incredible things for some time.

"He is playing at a great level and, with his quality, he will become one of the greatest."

Of course, the main talking point at the press conference was Tuesday night's World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein and De Gea insisted that the squad are taking the game very seriously.

"We've not done anything yet," the Manchester United shot-stopper said.

"We played a great game against Italy, but the points on offer tomorrow are worth the same.

"I am very proud to represent my country, to play big matches and to gain more influence in the team little by little."

He also spent some time discussing his relationship with coach Julen Lopetegui, who De Gea has known since his days with Spain's Under-21s and whose work he praised.

From Reus to Costa, the notable absentees from the Champions League squad lists

The 32 participants of this season's Champions League have announced their squads for the tournament, with some noticeable players absent.

Amid speculation regarding a potential move to Atletico Madrid in January, Diego Costa didn't find his name on Antonio Conte's list for the European competition.

Meanwhile, Marco Reus' knee injury will sideline him for the group stage phase and the exact date of his recovery isn't currently known by Dortmund doctors.

After the multi-million signings of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, Paris Saint Germain's Unai Emeri had no choice but leave Hatem Ben Arfa out of his plans, while the player is training with the reserve squad.

The arrivals of Mattia De Sciglio and Benedikt Howedes have similarly left no place for Stephan Lichtsteiner in Juventus' plans and, along with Marko Pjaca, who suffered a knee injury, they weren't included in the Old Lady's list.

Finally, Nathaniel Clyne, Lazar Markovic, Danny Ings, Vincent Janssen and Erik Lamela are some of the hot names of the Premier League who won't feature in the first phase of the major European tournament.

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