Real Madrid: Eden Hazard a tragic hero at the world’s most demanding club

Real Madrid, Eden Hazard(Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Eden Hazard(Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid attacking midfielder Eden Hazard is doing whatever he can to prove that his move to the Santiago Bernabeu was not a failure. Hazard’s name has been tossed around in discussions for being the worst signing in club history, and that is the kind of criticism and pressure no player should have to bear. And it is especially sad to see a player as talented as Hazard and as unlucky as Hazard facing this kind of a label.

Because it all started out so promisingly for Hazard at one point. After overcoming fitness issues to start his debut season, Hazard was playing inspiring football for a resurging Real Madrid side, which would eventually win the 2019-2020 LaLiga crown under Zinedine Zidane. That Fall, Hazard was unplayable on the ball, serving as a primary creator and link-up weapon for star striker Karim Benzema.

And then one bad challenge against PSG later, it all fell apart for the Belgian. There have been moments of brilliance, such as a long-range goal against Huesca or slick goal contributions against Deportivo Alaves, and he has even been a highly effective playmaker in 2021-2022, serving a new role under Carlo Ancelotti.

But in the end, you get the feeling that if Real Madrid could find a way to shed his salary and move on from the player, they would. Even in this fruitful start to the season creatively, Hazard cannot play a full 90 minutes. The moment he starts exerting himself more, he is overloaded, having suffered a new ailment during the international matches that leaves him in question for El Clasico.

Real Madrid have tried to sell Eden Hazard

To further the point that Real quietly want to move on despite publicly supporting a wonderful player seemingly cursed with awful luck, ace reporter Mario Cortegana recently stated on Directo Gol that Real Madrid have indeed explored ways to offload the player. But Cortegana says that Hazard has been pushing to stay.

A move to Real Madrid has always been his dream. He accomplished a lot at Chelsea and is one of the greatest talents the Premier League (and Ligue 1, for that matter) has ever seen. Hazard left a great club that loved him for Madrid to succeed at the biggest club in the world, and the only thing that has stopped him is a recurring cycle of injuries that feels like a never-ending nightmare completely out of his control.

As much as Hazard was chastised for laughing with his former Chelsea teammates after an embarrassing performance in Real’s humiliating Champions League exit to the eventual champions, it is obvious that Hazard does care deeply about Real Madrid and succeeding with the Merengue club.

He wants to be here. Hazard is willing to do whatever it takes to get healthy, stay healthy, and help the team. Clearly, he has his limitations now. And he is not someone who can be relied on by the club because of these unpredictable, constant absences.

Eden Hazard’s presence is at odds with a youth movement

Yet he must be applauded and respected for trying his best. Madridistas, contrary to what the uninformed will tell you, do appreciate Hazard. They love Hazard and want so badly for him to succeed. The reality is, though, that most of them have come to grips with the fact that this was likely never meant to be. It is his cruel fate to be a “what if?” in the Madrid history books.

For that reason, it is no surprise to see Real have tried to find other options. For better or for worse, it is highly unlikely they find that landing spot for Hazard, given his salary and injuries. Both sides are “stuck” with each other, but since Hazard keeps doing his best and has been an asset creatively when he is on the pitch, he is not unwanted either.

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He and the club are in a tough spot, given the direction the club wants for the future with Kylian Mbappe, Vinicius Junior, and maybe even Erling Haaland. Hazard will do his damndest to prove he still deserves that spot, even if it almost seems like a Sisyphean task.