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The journey of Eden Hazard: from elite talent to the dark dream

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Once a legend, always a legend. There would never been an unending list of football players with the talent and skill set of Eden Hazard.

His football talent has always been up there with the very best.

He started his early career with Tubize youth team in Belgium before moving to French club Lille’s youth side in 2005. Moving through the ranks, Eden made his way to Lille’s first team in July 2008 before a 30 million euro move to English side Chelsea in 2012.

The iconic farewell game

His talent was so immense that in his last game for Lille, Former captain of the French side Rio Mavuba recounted how the Belgian pulled off an amazing farewell performance: “We were certain to finish third and we were facing Nancy the following day. It was Eden Hazard’s last match with Lille and he wanted to organize a little something.”

“We decided to go have a little drink. A little drink that dragged on somewhat. The following morning, Eden was still drunk. That evening against Nancy, not even with 30 minutes played, Eden had already bagged a hat-trick.”

His Chelsea journey

It was with the Blues that Eden Hazard marked his name in the world game from 2012. Despite joining Chelsea and the Premier League in 2012, he is the player with the second most Man of the Match awards in the English top flight since the 2009/2010 season, with 62.

His numbers are bettered by only Harry Kane (68) who played in the Premier League for four seasons more.

In his Premier League career, Hazard made 245 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 85 times and assisting 54.

He also won the Premier League title twice, the Europa League trophy also on a couple of occasions.

The 32-year-old also won the FA Cup and League Cup once each.

After the 2018/2019 Europa League final against Arsenal where he scored a brace and won the trophy for the Blues, doubts about his future at the club arose.

In an interview after the game, he said: “Yes, I think it’s a goodbye. But in football you never know. My dream was to play in the Premier League. I did this for seven years, at one of the biggest clubs in the world. So now it’s maybe time for a different challenge.”

The dark dream

Eden Hazard joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2019 for a figure around 115 million euros. It was always his dream to join the Spanish giants. Speaking after the Chelsea game in October 2018 where he scored the opener, the Belgian said: “I am really in the game, I am playing good football at the moment. Real Madrid is the best club in the world. I don’t want to lie today. It is my dream since I was a kid. I was dreaming about this club. We will see.”

“I don’t want to talk about this every day. I don’t have time, but we will talk about my future soon. It is also when you have a dream and you want to make it happen. It is like I have said a lot of times; if I leave I will be happy. I know if I stay, I will be happy. It is not like if I go I am happy and if I stay that I am unhappy,” he added.

“Sometimes in my head I wake up in the morning and think I want to go. Sometimes I think I want to stay. It is a hard decision. It is my future. I want what’s good for me, but I want what’s good for the club because the club has given me everything. I don’t want to say, ‘yes I am signing a new contract’, and then in the end I don’t end up signing. So, I will see.”

After signing for Real Madrid in the summer of 2019, Eden Hazard reportedly arrived at Real Madrid’s pre-season tour in Montreal seven kilos overweight.

The dark night for Eden Hazard’s career came in a Champions League game against Paris Saint-Germain at the Bernabéu. After an ankle contact with compatriot Thomas Meunier, Eden Hazard went down and had to be substituted off, the beginning of the end.

The career of the former Belgium skipper never got back to how it was. For Real Madrid, he made 76 appearances and scored 7 times, winning every available trophy at the club.

To understand Hazard‘s injury woes at Real Madrid, he didn’t play a single minute in El Clásico after joining Real Madrid in 2019. The last time he played against Barcelona was in 2018 in the Champions League for Chelsea.

Eden will forever be remembered as a Chelsea legend, Belgian idol and a football great. All the best, legend!

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