Eden Hazard opens door to Real Madrid exit after 3.5-year injury nightmare

It can be hard to truly appreciate greatness while it’s happening. Only after the fact do we often properly reflect and appreciate what we may have seen or experienced. And when we look back on the past decade of Chelsea Football Club, it becomes increasingly clear how lucky and privileged we were to witness the best of Eden Hazard.

And it was because of that greatness, and because of the love created by that greatness, that we were able to let Eden go in 2019, to let her fulfill a childhood dream as she made many of our dreams come true.

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And we’ve definitely shared at least a little bit of his personal 3.5-year horror since then.

Eden’s dream for Real Madrid has been nothing short of an absolute nightmare, from almost the dot of the day to now. He has started just 42 games in those 42 months, scoring just 7 goals, while dealing with a constant stream of injuries, operations and various fitness and form issues. And over the past year, even when he was healthy, he wasn’t an automatic choice – in fact, he sat on the bench in 11 of Real’s 14 league games this season, featuring just three times and none since the middle of September.

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Entering the final 18 months of his contract, Eden is ready to accept defeat, ready to leave if the club wants him, ready to get back into the game, ready to have fun again. (Though he adds that at no point have Chelsea called him since he left, so let’s not worry about those inevitable but highly unlikely rumours.)

“Being a Real Madrid player was my dream as a child and after this year I have one more season on my contract. I want to play for this club, with this shirt.

“[But] in the summer it is possible to go. I have one more year of contract and it is the club’s decision. If the club says to me ‘Eden, thanks for four years, but you have to go’, I have to accept it because it’s normal. But I would like to play more, show more that I can play, that I am a good player”.

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Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images

Hazard’s fitness issues were not entirely surprising given his emphasis on fun and his Premier League opponents’ emphasis on trying to spoil that fun by any means, legal or illegal, necessary. And he has tried to change what is in his control, but the fates have conspired against him to a great extent since he went to Madrid.

“For ten years [including] At Chelsea I played 500 games without injuries or anything, and then in two years all these injuries… It’s something I can’t explain. […] I changed a lot of things. [Gym and] food too.”

“I’ve played a lot of games in ten years, seven in the Premier League with a lot of shots. There are moments in life when you’re a little down on your luck with a game, an injury… and you have to figure out your lifestyle. You can change things in life, but I think a lot of it was due to bad luck, a little bit due to the coronavirus, a little bit due to isolation…

Whatever the reason, there’s no point dwelling on it. No regrets! But Eden feels he has something to prove and hopes to prove himself on the world’s biggest stage as he captains Belgium to the 2022 World Cup, the final push for their Golden Generation.

“I have to show everyone that I can play football. People have doubts about what I can do, but I don’t. […] I am a player who has not played many games in three years. I can understand that. I have to show when I play, whether it’s five, ten or 15 minutes. I want to play and when I play, I have to do it well.”

– Eden Hazard; source: Marca

Good luck, Legend!

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Photo by HAND OUT – RBFA/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

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