Eden Hazard’s transfer to Real Madrid can be classified as an unfortunate decision.
During the summer of 2019, the Belgian winger was riding high after an outstanding last season at Chelsea. He scored 16 goals and provided 15 assists in 37 Premier League games, and also scored two goals in Chelsea’s 4-1 triumph over Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League final.
Real Madrid shelled out a whopping €100 million to acquire Hazard, impressed by his exceptional form throughout the season.
However, it has turned out to be a regrettable investment. Due to injuries and a dip in performance, Hazard has only managed to feature in 74 games for Los Blancos over a span of three and a half years.
During his time at Real Madrid, Hazard has only scored seven goals and remarkably, he has yet to participate in any El Clasico matches.
It’s a frustrating situation, isn’t it? Until the recent 6-0 victory over Valladolid, the Belgian winger had not played in La Liga since September of last year.
However, Carlo Ancelotti finally called upon Hazard in the second half of the match at the Santiago Bernabeu, much to the player’s delight.
He was visibly ecstatic, as was Luka Modric…
Video: Hazard’s reaction when he found out he was going to play vs Valladolid
The joy on Eden Hazard’s face when he’s told that he’s coming on is unparalleled.
Bless him man 😭💙pic.twitter.com/vov7r9YPl9
— TLV (@TheLampardView) April 3, 2023
It’s almost impossible not to feel elated for Hazard, isn’t it? He comes across as a very affable person, and it’s disheartening that his prime years were plagued by recurrent injuries, depriving us of his brilliance on the pitch.
After coming on as a substitute against Valladolid, the ex-Lille player appeared a bit out of sorts at first but gradually began to show glimpses of his old self towards the end of the game.
In fact, Hazard played a key role in Lucas Vazquez’s goal, providing the assist that allowed Real Madrid to go 6-0 up on their home ground.
Video: Hazard’s perfomance vs Valladolid
Eden Hazard vs Real Valladolid (H) pic.twitter.com/LhHN4kOBFP
— ً (@AREDlTS) April 2, 2023
Fair play, Eden.
Now that Hazard has returned to action, he may have the opportunity to make his El Clasico debut on Wednesday night.
Barcelona and Real Madrid will face off at Camp Nou in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final.
Xavi Hernandez’s squad took the lead in the first leg with a 1-0 win and are now the favourites to reach the final.
Nevertheless, Real Madrid is known for their comeback spirit, so anything can happen. Furthermore, considering their 12-point deficit to Barcelona in La Liga, Los Blancos have an added incentive to secure an aggregate victory.