Eden Hazard can make a difference like nobody else on Real Madrid

Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /

Eden Hazard is Real Madrid’s superstar player, and he reminded everyone of that fact on Saturday afternoon against Huesca.

When Eden Hazard made his 2020-2021 season debut against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League on Tuesday, Real Madrid came back from down 2-0 to rescue a point at the Borussia-Park. And then on Saturday afternoon against Huesca in his first start of the season, Hazard lifted the team with his wondergoal in the 40th minute.

Before Hazard scored from 27 meters out, striking the ball with his weak foot and swerving the ball in the opposite direction, Los Blancos looked in trouble. Rafa Mir was creating the most dangerous chances of either team, while Real Madrid were, again, stagnant in attack and struggling in transition whenever Huesca picked up the ball.

So Hazard’s goal was very much needed, and it absolutely gave Los Blancos a psychological lift. Seeing Hazard score a goal like THAT picked up the rest of the team, and it was no coincidence that Karim Benzema scored a great goal of his own five minutes later.

Los Blancos have a lot of world-class players in their team. Specifically focusing on attacking players, Benzema is one of the best strikers in the world. And Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Fede Valverde are excellent in midfield. Valverde, in fact, had a great goal of his own against Huesca, one week after another fantastic finish in El Clasico.

Eden Hazard makes everyone else on Real Madrid that much better

There are other players who deserve praise. Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes are young forwards who have ups-and-downs, but they are future superstars. Marco Asensio isn’t a world-class right winger, but he’s an intelligent player with goal-scoring qualities.

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Yet out of all the players on Real Madrid, there is only one superstar attacking player. There is only one player who can do the unthinkable on a regular basis, elevate everyone else, and be the difference-maker game after game.

There is only one Eden Hazard.

There are so many ways I could praise Hazard. I could talk about how he was the Premier League’s best player for about five years. I could talk about how he would score and assist a combined 30 times in a Premier League season. I could show highlight clips of his best solo goals. I could list statistics of his dribbling, which are second to only Lionel Messi in the past decade.

But instead, I want to praise him for the way he makes everyone around him better.

Last Fall, Real Madrid played their best football of 2019-2020, and it was exactly at the point when Hazard was healthy and fully integrated into the team.

Real Madrid
Real Madrid (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid signed Eden Hazard because they needed him

The player who benefits the most from being on the same pitch as Hazard is Benzema, whose goal-scoring output rises with Hazard on the left. Hazard’s first start back? Benzema scored twice. The goals were assisted from the right by Lucas Vazquez and Rodrygo Goes, who also benefits greatly from being in the same lineup as Hazard, but the Hazard and Benzema connection was very much present outside of those two goals.

Real Madrid scored four goals in one game and looked at their best after Hazard’s first goal, which boosted both his confidence and the team’s confidence. Again, all of these occurrences happening in conjunction could be mere coincidence, but having seen Hazard’s impact on Los Blancos last Fall, I know it is more than fortune. All of this is a result of what Hazard brings to the table as one of the best footballers of the last 10 years.

When Los Merengues signed Hazard for 100 million euros from Chelsea, they knew they were making a necessary signing, a player who fit the team perfectly. Real needed to sign someone who could score, create, and bring world-class ability on the ball in starting and directing attacks. When he has been healthy, we have seen all of that from Hazard.

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The goal against Huesca is another reminder of what Hazard brings to the table. Like Modric, Kroos, and Benzema, he brings that magic touch, that enduring ability to do something special that only the best of the best can do. You take him for granted until he’s gone. Madridistas, after watching the difference between this team with and without Hazard, won’t be taking the Belgian No. 7’s impact for granted anymore.