Last year, the Belgian star Eden Hazard set foot in Real Madrid or an initially reported fee of approximately €100 million, which may increase to €146.1 million due to additional fees, and will be earning an expected £400,000 per week. Hazard was formally unveiled in front of 50,000 fans on 13 June 2019 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Hazard became Real Madrid’s most expensive player after Gareth Bale who was signed for €101 million in 2013.
Should any of the variables be met, Hazard would then become Madrid’s most expensive player in their history.
Hazard was presented at the Bernabeu without a number on his jersey, just like Luka Jovic a day earlier.
Hazard has been wearing the number 10 jersey for both Chelsea and Belgium for a number of years but admitted in his press conference that he had asked Luka Modric for the jersey number at Real Madrid but Modric refused to give it away.
Nearly two months later, Real Madrid confirmed on their website that Hazard will wear the legendary number 7 at Los Blancos, like club legends Cristiano Ronaldo, Raul Gonzalez, and Emilio Butragueno.
But that was it.
Since Hazard arrived in Real Madrid, he failed to fulfill the expectations of the fans, who thought, he would carry on the legacy of the Number 7 shirt.
Hazard did have reasons for such a dismal 2019-20 season – injuries.
But, again, when he appeared in the pre-season club friendlies for Real Madrid, his shape was nowhere near to represent the best football club in the history. He developed a belly and looked tired on the pitch. He worked hard to get back into shape, but well, his fitness had never been up to the mark.
The relapse of the injury, the operation in Dallas, and the recovery in lockdown.
It’s possible to forgive Hazard for his quiet end to the season during which he was in and out of the team because of ankle problems. The doctors say that it’s not easy to get back to your best quickly after that operation and the placement of the new plate.
The Real Madrid hierarchy and fans would like to invest faith in him for another season, but the forecast does not look so good.
According to Marca, “Hazard wasn’t one of those players showing how they’ve been working like an animal during pre-season, like Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo Goes or Marco Asensio.”
“Okay, he’s been able to work hard and hasn’t wanted to show it, although the very few photos of him on holiday don’t say that… He hasn’t had military discipline, of course. But the messages coming out of the Belgium camp are starting to worry”.
Roberto Martinez, the Belgian coach, has admitted that Eden Hazard isn’t at peak fitness.
The Real Madrid forward was called up for international duty by Martinez’s Belgium this month but didn’t play against Denmark on Saturday.
“He’s been working individually and has tried to join up with the group when he can,” Martinez said of his captain in his press conference.
“Medically, he’s perfect; it’s just a question of being very careful with his introduction.”
“He’s still not at full fitness and hasn’t been able to train with the group at his club.”
“We’re going to be very careful and we’re not going to take any risks.”
Well, Hazard remains a headache for Real Madrid and if the fitness scenario remains such, then, surely, he would be a waste of money for the club.
As Marca stated, “After the season that he had and the money he cost, it wouldn’t have been a bad gesture to have pulled out of international duty to work with Real Madrid, as Martin Odegaard and Luka Modric have done.”
“Odegaard did it because he had some problems with his knee and Modric because he didn’t want to lose ground on his club teammates. And Hazard?”
“After the ankle problems had had last season, it wouldn’t have been too much of a problem sitting out the first international matches of the campaign.”
Clearly, Real Madrid won’t have his services in the first few matches or even more – and if Hazard does not show up and start fulfilling the expectations, then, he Real Madrid should think alternatively – sell him, invest the money smartly and let the likes of Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo Goes, Marco Asensio, and others flourish.