The Dark Knight Trilogy is one of my favourite franchises ever, and there is one particular dialogue from the first movie, The Batman Begins, which I would never ever forget in my life. The dialogue is said by the character Alfred Pennyworth, which was played by Sir Michael Caine, to the protagonist Bruce Wayne, whose ancestral home was just destroyed by the antagonist Ra’s Al Ghul before this scene and was rescued by Alfred from the fire. The injured Bruce starts to think of himself as a failure, seeing which Alfred tells Bruce something that he often used to hear in his childhood.
Alfred: “Why do we fall sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.”
It’s just a single line, but it bears a lot of significance in the context of the movie. And this dialogue is valid to every human being on this planet, including a footballer like Eden Hazard. Every person would have to go through a difficult period in their lives, and even Hazard is going through a similar period.
We all knew Eden Hazard as one of the best footballers in Europe, before his transfer to Real Madrid, and we all expected to see the same Eden Hazard at our club. But well, fate had its own plans, and we couldn’t get to see the best of Hazard in the white jersey for more than a month. Since the 27th of November, 2019, his career has been on a downward spiral, with endless problems like injuries, relapses, external pressure, and many more issues.
It has been around 26 months since the beginning of Eden Hazard’s fall, and there hasn’t been a single moment till yesterday that could suggest that the original Hazard will be back.
Eden Hazard has fought to be the same old Eden Hazard
Life hasn’t been the same throughout these 26 months. Hazard would try hard to get back to form, but his body wouldn’t be willing to support his intentions. He tried to be patient and didn’t want to give up and leave the club as a loser. But the fans, who used to once wait eagerly for his return from injury, would lose patience – and rightly so. The manager couldn’t afford to be very patient, and even the board started to look for a sale.
Hazard would try hard to be the same old Hazard, but he couldn’t realize that his physical condition wasn’t the same anymore and ended up injured. And after a period of time, maybe even he didn’t understand what he could do. Fans didn’t see him in the same way anymore, and he was stuck in limbo, sitting on the bench and thinking what he should be doing next. He was mentally in a blank space, and he couldn’t even celebrate a trophy won by his team with a smile on his face.
Maybe he just wanted a moment. A moment that could completely change everything. A moment that could just remind people that he is not done yet.
And yesterday, he got his moment. He scored a very very important goal for a 10-men Real Madrid in the 115th minute, which won the game for his team and took them to the quarter-finals of the Copa Del Rey.
Eden Hazard was proactive in the decisive moment
It wasn’t a moment that completely changes everything, but it is indeed a moment that reminds people that Eden Hazard isn’t done yet. This is a moment that gives him a glimmer of hope to revive his career. And this moment could also prove to be Eden Hazard’s lightbulb moment at Real Madrid.
The way he got his goal also shows Eden Hazard a direction to follow in the future. He remained very inactive on the pitch until the goal, and he couldn’t link up very well with everyone, unlike his usual self. This season he has been limited to a link-up role up front, and he hasn’t really been a player who could influence the result of the game.
But in the 115th minute, he did something that we didn’t get to see a lot in the last 12 months. With no striker on the field to make runs, he decided to be in those positions occupied by a striker and behaved like a proper forward.
He asked for the pass from Alaba and made a well-timed run. Alaba obliged, and released Hazard beyond Elche’s defensive line with a slick pass. Hazard latched on to the ball, rounded the advancing keeper, and the rest is history.
Given his current physical condition, he can’t sprint or dribble at the speed he once used to. But he can still offer a lot to the team, if he sticks to what he can do currently, and uses his diminished skill-set to perfection, like yesterday. This will be the key to Eden Hazard’s future at Real Madrid, and he has to capitalise on this moment if he wants to revive his career. And as fans, let us hope for the best and continue to support Eden Hazard until his last day as a Real Madrid player!