Real Madrid winger Eden Hazard angered club members and some inside the dressing room when he shared a laugh with former Chelsea teammate Kurt Zouma and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, sources told ESPN's Rodrigo Faez and Adriana Garcia.
Cameras captured Hazard hugging and congratulating his friends following Madrid's 2-0 loss to Chelsea in the Champions League semifinals. The scenes sparked anger within Madrid's ranks, with one source describing Hazard's actions as "intolerable."
"Eden has enough experience to not have that attitude when the cameras are on him," the source told ESPN.
On Thursday, Hazard issued an apology on Instagram.
"I have read lots of opinions about me today and it was not my intention to offend the Real Madrid fans," he wrote. "It has always been my dream to play for Real Madrid, and I came here to win. The season is not over, and together we must now battle for La Liga!"
Spanish media outlet El Chiringuito TV had called for the Belgian international to be expelled by the club.
"Real Madrid are out of Europe as Hazard finds time to laugh and joke. Two years of taking the piss out of Real Madrid fans ... two years of being overweight ... just another Gareth Bale," host Josep Pedrerol said, according to Spanish newspaper AS.
Madrid, however, have no intention of selling Hazard this summer and will instead settle the issue by giving the 30-year-old a "slap on the wrist," a source told ESPN.
Hazard played 88 minutes of Wednesday's second leg at Stamford Bridge, his first trip back to west London since leaving in 2019 for a reported €100 million. He's missed 30 games this season due to various muscle injuries and COVID-19.