Real Madrid: 5 burning questions after 3-2 win over Inter Milan

Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Eden Hazard
Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Is Eden Hazard Real Madrid’s most pivotal player?

Real Madrid fans noticed Eden Hazard was walking around with a bit of a limp early in the second half, and that, of course, set off alarm bells. Zinedine Zidane substituted Hazard in the 63rd minute for Vinicius Junior, who assisted Rodrygo Goes’ memorable winner.

But before he was pulled from the game as a precaution, Hazard clearly made his presence felt. In the first half that Los Merengues dominated, Hazard was the best player on the pitch, bar none. He was the conductor, directing traffic and keeping the ball glued to his feet. Hazard would charge into the box, hustling to carve out opportunities, including fighting for the corner that led to Sergio Ramos’ headed goal.

Watching Real Madrid with Hazard and watching them without the Belgian superstar is like watching two different teams. He is the club’s most important player for success in 2020-2021. Without him, Real have no hope in the Champions League and are at threat of losing La Liga to rivals Atletico Madrid. I know that sounds dire, but it is the harsh truth for a transitioning team.

But with Hazard, there is hope that Real can still achieve every one of their ambitious goals. 

Are more opportunities coming for Rodrygo Goes?

There are several talented young players on Real Madrid who haven’t played as often as they may have expected this season, but Rodrygo Goes is the one to focus on the most since he’s the player who has actually proven he has the tools to immediately succeed at a club of this magnitude.

Rodrygo needs to be praised as highly as possible for his goal in the 80th minute. The way this man comes off the bench late in games and delivers is incredible. He had assists in wins over Levante and Barcelona to seal the game, making the smart pass in those high-leverage situations. How many 19-year-old forwards do that?

But the man who is making the Champions League his signature competition outdid himself with his wonderful finish against Inter Milan. Rodrygo made no mistake, showing the wherewithal that so many other players on the team were missing in that second half.

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Despite being tied for the team lead with three goals in La Liga, Rodrygo has logged just 129 minutes in the competition. He has actually played fewer minutes than Luka Jovic, Isco, and Eder Militao. Expect that to change soon.