Eden Hazard, he who still plays in his custom Chelsea shinpads, left the club after seven legendary seasons last summer to complete his childhood dream and play for Real Madrid — and coached by his idol Zinedine Zidane to boot.
It was the end of an era at Stamford Bridge and the start of a new one, with fair compensation changing hands as well.
Unfortunately for Eden, his dream has been nothing short of a nightmare. On Saturday, he made just his 15th appearance of the season, his second since returning from a hairline fracture in his ankle suffered in late November. Just past the hour mark, his day was done. He has reinjured the ankle, and in the words of his head coach, it does not look good.
“Eden does not look good. It is more than a knock, and also where he had his [previous] injury.”
-Zinedine Zidane; source: AS
To make matters worse for Real, they also lost the match, to mid-table place Levante, which drops them to second in the league behind Barcelona, who got another Messi masterclass in a 5-0 win over Eibar. Messi scored four times as many goals in that one game than Hazard has managed all season!
Fair to say, things have not gone according to plan for Eden, who celebrated his 29th birthday last month. His season began with a hamstring injury and suggestions that he was out of shape. He didn’t start a game until late September, didn’t score a goal until October, and has played just 140 minutes of football in the last three months.
It’s another 2015-16 for Eden, which is a shame. And if at long last all the years of abuse have finally caught up with his body, then it’s an even bigger shame.
Hopefully he can be back to his best before the end of the season, for both club and country, with Belgium expected to be one of the favorites for Euro 2020 this summer.
A familiar scene.