It can be hard to really appreciate greatness while it’s happening. Only after the fact has occurred do we often reflect and appreciate what we may have seen or experienced. And when we look back on the past decade of Chelsea Football Club, we see more clearly how fortunate and privileged we have been to witness the very best of Eden Hazard.
And it’s because of that greatness, and because of the love that comes from that greatness, that we were able to let Eden go in 2019, for him to fulfill his childhood dream after so much change. our own dreams come true.
And we’ve certainly shared at least a little bit of his 3.5-year personal horror since then.
Eden’s Real Madrid dream was nothing more than an absolute nightmare, from when it was just a flash to the present. He started just 42 matches in those 42 months, scoring just 7 goals, while facing a series of injuries, surgeries as well as many fitness and form problems. And over the past year, even if he’s healthy, he’s not an automatic pick – in fact, he has benched 11 of Real’s 14 league games this season, indicating pitch three times and no match since mid-September.
Coming into the final 18 months of his contract, Eden is ready to accept defeat, ready to leave if the club wants, ready to play again, ready to be happy again. (Though he added that Chelsea haven’t called him since he left, so don’t worry about the inevitable but highly unlikely rumors.)
“Being a Real Madrid player was my dream as a child and after this year I have another season on my contract. I want to play for this club, with this shirt.
“[But] in the summer maybe I go. I have one more year on my contract and it is the club’s decision. If the club says to me ‘Eden, thanks for the 4 years, but you have to go’, I have to accept it because that’s normal. But I want to play more, show more that I can play, that I am a good player.”
Hazard’s fitness issues aren’t entirely surprising given his emphasis on having fun and his Premier League rivals insist on trying to ruin that fun by any means, legally or illegal, necessary. And he has tried to change what is within his control, but fate has conspired against him to a large extent since his arrival in Madrid.
“For ten years [including] At Chelsea, I played 500 games without injury or anything, and then in two years, all these injuries… That’s something I can’t explain. […] I changed many things. [Gym and] more food.”
“I played many games in ten years, seven Premier League games with many starts. There are times in your life when you are a little less fortunate with a match, an injury… and you have to understand your way of life. You can change everything in life, but I think a lot of things are due to bad luck, part corona virus, part blockade…
Whatever the reason, there is little reason to focus on it. No regret! But Eden feels like he has something to prove and hopes to prove it on the biggest stage in the world when he leads Belgium at the 2022 World Cup, the ultimate achievement for their Golden Generation.
“I have to prove to everyone that I can play football. People have doubts about what I can do, but I am not. […] I’m a player who hasn’t played many games in three years. I understand it. I have to perform when I play, whether it’s 5, 10 or 15 minutes. I want to play and when I do, I have to play well.”
-The player Eden Hazard; source: Marca
Good luck, legend!