Chelsea forward Eden Hazard has admitted he is forced to protects his legs in training due to the incessant fouling of opposition defenders.
The skillful Belgian has been the most fouled player in the Premier League since 2014, and it has clearly taken its toll.
Hazard was again on the receiving end of a physical battle in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Liverpool, reportedly returning to London with numerous bruises on his legs.
“Do I protect my legs in training? Yes, yes, yes!” he told the Evening Standard. “To be fair, in training I don’t give everything.
“When we have drills, some people go crazy, but I don’t want to be kicked in training. I try to have a break.
“We don’t have many breaks in the season, so I try in training to have more of a rest, and then in the games I give everything.
“Do I get a lot of bruises? Yes. Sometimes I’m feeling a lot. I get a lot of fouls, a lot on my ankle. When I’m on the pitch I do receive kicks, but that is part of football and I’m not complaining.”
He added: “I do everything for my body when I’m at the training ground. I know my body is strong and I am working on that. It is important I do. I’m lucky to have good health, I take good care of my body the best I can.”
Chelsea left Anfield with a credible point, although it meant that they slipped further behind Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.
“It is a good point because when you are 1-0 down at Anfield, it is not easy to score,” said Hazard. “We should have scored more, but one point at Liverpool is satisfying.
“In the first half we did well. In the second half it was more complicated but we scored so I am happy.”