“I need to deal with this, but I never doubted my quality.”
Eden Hazard was once one of the best players in the world. Then he signed for Real Madrid, and everything changed.
Hazard looked different. He struggled with his weight, and when he pulled on the Madrid jersey, he looked like a completely different player to the one we knew at Chelsea and Belgium.
Eden Hazard’s form since joining Real Madrid.
Hazard has scored just four goals in 30 appearances for the Spanish giants, and it’s impossible to even think of one moment of magic he produced since he joined Madrid in 2019.
When you look back at some of his moments in a Chelsea jersey, this fall in form is hard to believe. But Hazard himself has opened the lid on why he is no longer the player he once was.
Eden Hazard on why he has changed as a player.
Speaking ahead of Belgium’s game against Finland in Euro 2020, Hazard said that he has broken his ankle three times and that his legs will never be the same as a result.
He said: “My game is made of contact. If I start thinking that I can’t go there, then I would rather not play at all. My game is made of contact, so I need to go into those duels to see how my legs will react. In the two matches I have played so far, it went well, even if I didn’t play that long.
“I broke my ankle three times, it will never be the same ankle that I had 10 years ago when I started my career. I need to deal with this, but I never doubted my qualities. I know what I can do on the pitch if I’m healthy, and I look forward to being healthy and playing back-to-back matches so I can show everybody.”
🗣 "I broke my ankle three times, it will never be the same ankle that I had ten years ago."
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) June 21, 2021
Hazard has started on the bench in both Euro 2020 games for Belgium so far, but he has made the difference when he came on both times.
Could this be the start of a new role for the 30-year-old, or are we seeing a resurgence in form?
Earlier in the year, Damien Duff tore into Hazard, saying that he has “never been a top pro.” But Hazard’s comments shed new light on his struggles.