Eden Hazard was supposed to be the Galactico to usher Real Madrid into a new era, but instead he’s fading into insignificance. The Hazard who marvelled at the 2018 World Cup or in the blue of Chelsea has been nowhere to be seen.
He’s struggled with injury and bad luck, but has been unable to step up to the plate in the time he’s spent on the pitch. Now 30, his window of opportunity to make a success of his time at the Santiago Bernabeu, his dream move, is narrowing.
Currently injured, it looks like he’s chosen to opt for conservative treatment and avoid surgery to get back on the pitch as soon as possible. It’s the eleventh such injury he’s suffered since joining Madrid, with the Belgian being unable to show anything of what Los Blancos paid €100m to Chelsea for.
There’s two principal schools of thought as to why he’s suffered such a run of injuries, aside from sheer bad luck. One is that he spent his senior career riding tough challenges in the quick and physical Premier League. The other is a questionable work ethic and a lack of attention to the physical aspect of the game.
John Obi Mikel, his former teammate at Chelsea, chipped in with his opinion in comments carried by Diario AS. “When we were training, he’d stand and wait for us until we finished,” he said. “He was the laziest player, but then on Sundays he was always the best in the game. He was incredible.
“I’ve always said that Hazard is one of the most gifted players. He had it all: power, skill, technique. He was right behind [Lionel] Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but only if he wanted it.
“He sometimes said ‘yes, I want to be so good, I can be. Not as good as Messi because he’s from another planet, but I think I can be close to Cristiano and even better’. Those were the words that came out of his mouth, but he’s not that dedicated. He doesn’t train well. He’s the worst trainer I’ve ever played with.”