When at Chelsea, Eden Hazard was the Premier League’s best impression of Lionel Messi. He would produce incredible moment after incredible moment, sitting players down- forcing them to bow- as he danced towards goal. And that’s what makes Eden Hazard’s fall from grace so sad at Real Madrid.
What was once a graceful, skilful entertainer is now an injury-hit, transfer flop. The Real Madrid move should have given the Belgian the platform to take centre stage in world football. It should have been a dream come true. Instead, it has been nothing but a nightmare.
His dancing shoes accompanying his nimble toes have been replaced by a protective boot as injury continues to strike the winger. If you ask Premier League fans who the biggest entertainer was, they’ll likely give you the answer, Eden Hazard.
Whenever he was in the Chelsea starting 11, fear of the game ahead could be heard around the opponents’ fanbase. Yet, at the same time, rivalries aside, you just had to respect it and enjoy it. The Belgian was simply world-class and epitomised what football should be in the Premier League.
It looked a bargain deal at the time- even at £100 million. It looked like a transfer guaranteed to succeed. Yet, almost three years later, and he’s suffered more injuries than scored goals at Real Madrid.
Eden Hazard’s Real Madrid Career: A Fall From Grace
Change of System and Philosophy Hindered Hazard
At Chelsea, Hazard was the main man. Any player that arrived had the sole purpose of acting as building blocks around the solid foundation of Hazard. And he thrived from that. It was a free role that took the shackles of a system away from the Belgian.
In the bigger world of Real Madrid, Eden Hazard’s fall from grace occurred as soon as those aforementioned building blocks were removed. He was no longer the main man. Instead, he was meant to be one of the main men alongside fellow stars.
Unlike Chelsea, Hazard had to fit the system of Real Madrid and not the other way round. Ultimately, he has failed to do so. And perhaps that added responsibility has hindered his chances of progressing and added the shackles onto a player that needs freedom.
He was meant to replace Cristiano Ronaldo at the Bernabeu, no easy task to say the least, but, even so, many would have been anticipating better from the Belgian.
Injuries the Main Cause Behind Eden Hazard’s Fall From Grace at Real Madrid
In just two years at Real Madrid, Hazard has missed 23 games through injury- more than during his seven-year stay at Stamford Bridge. For a player with such a small history of injuries, the forever mounting list of games missed has surprised many.
Every time the winger returns, he is knocked down again. Each step forward is followed by two steps back towards the physio room.
Each injury has acted as a slap to the face. Every time Hazard gets up, he is knocked down again. That is physically draining but also mentally draining for a player who is a shadow of his former self.
Hazard’s fall from grace has been a sad one to witness, but he still has time to find his elegance as a Madridista. For now, it is time to recover once more after returning from injury against Elche just to suffer a potential season-ending blow.
We will see the player that once lit up the Premier League one day. We will witness the Eden Hazard who spun Francis Coquelin into a social media laughing stock before finishing off one of the greatest individual goals in Premier League history.
When the time is right, we will see the protective boot replaced by his elegant dancing boots once more.
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