Real Madrid – La Liga Failed to impress in Supercopa semi-final
In May 2019, Eden Hazard was a phenomenon; an explosive talent who could go past people with ease and unbalance a team and a player who could leave opponents on their backsides.
He was one of the best in Europe, guiding Chelsea to Europa League glory, and the leader of the Belgium team that finished third at the 2018 World Cup.
Almost two years later, very little remains of this player. Injuries have played a major part in his struggles at Real Madrid, a club that is yet to see the best of a player that they spent 100 million euros on.
In Malaga, Zinedine Zidane decided to play Hazard in a more central position. The result was counterproductive, with the Belgian failing to impress again and Luka Modric seeing his influence on the team fall.
When the change was made to revert to a 4-3-3 formation, Marco Asensio responded on one flank and Hazard didn’t on the other. This latest drab display from the former Chelsea forward drew criticism from Real Madrid figures.
“Hazard shouldn’t be starting, but the one who decides and sees him in training is Zidane,” Predrag Mijatovic told El Larguero. “Real Madrid also play well without him, and that’s the worrying thing.”
“It’s not Hazard‘s moment,” Santiago Canizares said on Radio Cope. “Asensio had to be playing on the left and priority should be given to the players who are in form. Not starting Hazard in the centre and then changing it because it doesn’t work…”
“Before he was in the top five [players in the world] and now, at Real Madrid, he’s not even in the top 100,” Axel Torres said on Movistar. “It’s clear that injuries have stripped him of his confidence.”
The international press have not been kind either. “When we will see Eden’s true danger again?” asked L’Equipe. “The question is legitimate after another performance light years away from what the Belgian showed at Lille, Chelsea and with Belgium. He was always lost against Athletic.”
In fact, against Athletic Club, Ferland Mendy was the most dangerous threat down Real Madrid‘s left wing, which says it all.
Aside from individual performances, Hazard let another super cup pass him by. He’s missed out on six during his career: four Community Shields at Chelsea, one Trophee des Champions at Lille and now the Supercopa de Espana.
Real Madrid need the real Hazard but, perhaps more than anything, it’s the player who needs something to give him something to smile about on the pitch.