Eden Hazard, the invisible of Real

Eden Hazard during one of these first appearances in the jersey of Real, in July 2019

Will play ? Will not play? In recent weeks, Eden Hazard has been dribbling the press much more about the date of his possible reappearance on the lawns than the defenders. Injured since the end of September, the Real Madrid playmaker will still watch from afar, Saturday, October 24, his partners in the match against Barcelona, ​​the big meeting of the Spanish football championship – the “clasico”. Hit in the right thigh, the Belgian is expected to stay away from the pitch for at least three weeks, according to the Spanish newspaper Marca.

Earlier this week, his trainer, Zinédine Zidane, had yet said he hoped to see him again ” very soon “ on a field. “Eden has set foot on the lawn again”, he assured, even if he regretted that “His injury was a little more serious than expected”. The coach had initially hoped for the return of his nugget by the end of September. But the vagueness remains as to the nature and management of his injury.

However, this is only the last episode of a “Hazard saga” which never ceases to be talked about in the small world of Spanish football since the XXL recruitment of the player, during the summer of 2019. Hiring Eden Hazard had been Zinédine Zidane’s priority when he returned to the coach of Real in January 2019.

The aura of “ZZ” and his three Champions Leagues won as coach of Real, from 2016 to 2018, convinced the president, Florentino Pérez, to drop an estimated sum of 115 million euros to recruit the player. who was playing in England at Chelsea.

Read also FC Barcelona sacks his coach, Quique Setién

Eden Hazard himself had claimed that his “Dream” was to play with the white tunic, moreover under Zidane’s orders. The romance had everything to be perfect, and the throne of world star Real, left vacant by the departure of Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus Turin, was already ready to welcome it.

Overweight and repeated injuries

Eden Hazard (here during a Premier League match in 2015) spent seven years at English club Chelsea.

But Eden Hazard’s royal march was thwarted. At the end of his best season in the Chelsea shirt (20 goals, 17 assists, a victory in the Europa League), the former Lille arrived in the Spanish capital with a certain relaxation and, above all, five extra pounds.

If the playmaker had assured RTBF in January “To have lost them in ten days”, photos and mockery have toured Spain and left a deep mark, especially when he suffered numerous injuries last season, especially in his right foot.

In the end, the Belgian will only have played 22 games in his first season with Real (he missed 35 …), less than half that in each of his previous ten seasons, where he was praised for its reliability and its ability to chain meetings. On the pitch, he also lacked rhythm, scoring only two goals for four assists.

His absences did not prevent Real from having an almost correct season. The title of champion of Spain, snatched from Barcelona in the final part of the championship, after the interruption due to Covid-19, however, made us forget a second consecutive elimination in the knockout stages of the Champions League, against Manchester City.

Read also Champions League: Manchester City eliminates Real Madrid

In La Liga, the Madrilenians have scored 70 goals, an honorable total and higher than the 63 of the previous season, a blank year for Real. However, far from other years, when Zidane’s men could score 90 or 100 league goals, worn by Cristiano Ronaldo, who ensured at least thirty goals.

Big pressure on Zidane

In the absence of the Belgian, other players have asserted themselves, starting with the French striker Karim Benzema, or, more timidly, the young Vinicius Junior. But Real are without a safety net: in the absence of these two players and that of defender Sergio Ramos, the Madrilenians sank Wednesday, October 21 against Shakhtar Donetsk (2-3) for their first match of the phase of Champions League hens.

Read also Karim Benzema, sacred in Madrid, lost to France

In an overloaded schedule, this match demonstrated that Real had no room for maneuver on the substitutes’ bench. And that a return of Eden Hazard would be likely to strengthen a building that lacks pillars. Its ability to make the difference on a dribble or an inspiration would give much more possibilities to the attack, and would make it formidable with each acceleration.

This poor performance against the Ukrainians suddenly puts great pressure on Zinédine Zidane and his players. “Worse every day”, headlined in one, Thursday, Marca, Spain’s best-selling newspaper.

In La Liga, Madrid are still in the game on an accounting level, with 10 points in five games. But the defeat (0-1) against the promoted Cadiz, Saturday, October 17, raised new doubts.

To make matters worse, in an institution where the requirement is as much on the game as on the results, the Merengues have scored only six goals since the start of the championship, finishing twice silent.

A defeat on Saturday and Zidane’s future on the bench would be called into question again, a year after saving his head following, already, a bad start in the Champions League. “I am the coach and it’s up to me to find the solution. I couldn’t find her on Wednesday night. But I feel capable of it, I will try and the players must do the same ”, assumed Zidane, taking the ” responsibility “ of the two failures.

If Eden Hazard, at 29, still has time to prove his worth in the club, “ZZ”, despite all his record, does not have this luxury.

The world


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