Eden Hazard is crocked again. He has a muscle injury that is set to keep him out of action for around a month. Get this: he’s already missed twice as many games through injury in one year with Real Madrid as he did in seven years with Chelsea. This 5th October will mark one year since the Belgian last scored a club goal. It’s a nightmare scenario for both parties, but especially Real.
Hazard was sort of supposed to be Real’s replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, i.e. an outrageously gifted superstar who would entertain the baying ingrates who largely make up the Bernabeu crowd. Instead he is a white elephant in Real’s treatment room, dogged by injuries and pursued by rumours that he doesn’t have the discipline to stay in peak condition. Both of these problems are anomalous to those who watched him for many years in England, when he rode tackles for fun and never appeared to have fitness issues. So, what have Real done to the Eden Hazard who we watched tear up the Premier League?
We don’t know, is the short answer. My own hunch is twofold. Firstly, it looks like Hazard has struggled to settle at a club where he is not the undisputed top dog (that person isn’t even a player anymore – it’s Zidane). Secondly, I wonder how much he loves football? I mean, clearly he loves playing football, but does he have that frenzied, obsessive, near-psychopathic drive to be the best (Cf. Ronaldo)? I think not. There’s nothing wrong with that – it’s part of the reason fans love watching Hazard play. Because he plays for shits and giggles. He takes the piss. He’s just naturally an out-of-this-world player who wants to enjoy more aspects of life than are contained within the white lines of a football pitch.
That sucks for Real fans, but also, Real fans have proved time and time again that they don’t deserve to have the best players. So, I’m openly revelling in the fact that they aren’t getting Prime Hazard. In your own time, Eden.