Eden Hazard’s latest injury means he has already missed as many matches at Real Madrid as he did in seven years at Chelsea… the Belgian’s dream £130m move has turned sour despite him working tirelessly to reach the top in LaLiga
- Eden Hazard has been desperately unlucky since swapping Chelsea for Madrid
- Real Madrid man has already been injured as much as in seven years at Blues
- It was a dream come true to join Real but now he may miss the rest of the season
- He has been working hard to get fit and the disappointment is considerable
When Eden Hazard suffered a hairline fracture in his right ankle last November it was hard for him to take. The injury came just as he was beginning to show his best form.
Understandably he looked a little forlorn in the Christmas lunch photographs circulated by the players on social media. His former Chelsea team-mate Thibaut Courtois had driven him to the El Filandon restaurant on the northern outskirts of the city for the team-bonding festive celebrations. He was seated and with his crutches not too far away.
But the consolation for him in those grim December days was that he had been reassured he would be back for the glory end of the season free to help Madrid try to win the league and Champions League.
Eden Hazard speaks to Zinedine Zidane after picking up an injury against Levante on Saturday
Hazard left Chelsea (pictured) for Real Madrid in the summer but has struggled with injuries
It will be much harder for the player to look on the bright side now after the latest injury blow suffered at the weekend.
It was Hazard’s dream come true to for his boyhood hero Zinedine Zidane and he felt he went about the move in the right way leaving Chelsea after delivering silverware for them in his final match.
But Hazard’s first season at Real Madrid has turned sour. The club are now considering surgery that would rule him out for the rest of the campaign. The decision cannot be taken lightly. And even without an intervention he will struggle to get back to his best before the summer.
‘There’s a weakness in that leg to the point where it was difficult to see what exactly provoked the injury [on Saturday],’ a concerned Jorge Valdano told Onda Cero. ‘He has had two big interruptions in his season and Madrid are at the point of losing their [big] signing.
‘He was the super crack of the team. Madrid has great players but he was a level beyond that – perhaps one of the best five in the world.’
Hazard was out for 82 days the last time he cracked a bone in right ankle. He also missed 30 days in August because of a muscle injury. He has now missed 19 matches at Madrid; in seven years at Chelsea he missed just 20 games through injury.
Hazard has already missed as many matches for Real Madrid as he did in seven years at Blues
Club are now considering sending Hazard for an operation that will keep him out for season
2019-present: Real Madrid
If expectation was huge when he arrived at the club it was heightened by his return. ‘It’s not like when he debuted and he was overweight,’ said former Madrid player and coach Valdano at the weekend. ‘He looked slender, fit. The recuperation had been good and the care he has taken of himself looks to have been extreme.’
Hazard was keen to be at his best as soon as Madrid medics had given him the green light to return. He has worked tirelessly with Real Madrid fitness coach Gregory Dupont who designed him a very specific work plan and closely monitored his condition to ensure that as soon as the ankle was ready, he would be too.
Hazard broke his right ankle training with Belgium in 2017 and had a titanium plate fitted.
The decision that needs to be made now centers on how viable it is for him to have further surgery on the ankle. There were no tears sat on the bench at Levante’s Cuitat de Valencia stadium on Saturday night with an ice-pack strapped to his right leg. Years of having his ankles taken out from beneath him and the heartbreak of previous injuries have hardened him to the scenario he faced at the weekend. But all the same, to have his first season wrecked in this way is difficult to take.
Belgian star Hazard has worked incredibly hard to get back to fitness but is yet again injured
Zidane has not been able to rely on his star signing, which is frustrating for all parties involved
For Zidane the disappointment is considerable too. Hazard’s signing was a long time coming and to have not been able to use him as he wanted to has been difficult.
‘Right now I think it is Vinicius who deserves to take his place,’ Valdano told Onda Cero. ‘But Zidane tends to incline towards players with more experience in this situation. And I would not be surprised if [Gareth] Bale now has the chance to accompany Karim Benzema.’
Madrid have a problem scoring goals. As was pointed out by Spanish statistician Mister Chip on social media at the weekend, they have failed to score in only 36 of the 438 games Ronaldo played for the club. Since his departure they have failed to score in 21 of just 93.
Barcelona have also overtaken them in the all-time scoring charts in LaLiga. Ronaldo left Real Madrid 42 goals clear of their rivals. Now Barcelona have one goal more and Ronaldo has 42 goals to his credit in Serie A.
Hazard was never going to be Ronaldo. But he did score 21 in all competitions last season for Chelsea. Madrid saw that goals contribution as the thing that would push them over the line this season. But he has one to his name so far and it will be hard to add to that now. He can only hope the best at Madrid is still to come, even if it comes next season.
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