By now, Chelsea fans will hopefully have dried their eyes, as Eden Hazard’s blockbuster move to Real Madrid has become a reality.
The money involved in the deal is bonkers. Around £130m in transfer fee alone (including bonuses), with the Belgian thought to have inked a huge £400,000-a-week contract. But, truthfully, he’s worth all of that, and then some.
The world is full of great players, but there are just a few who can classify themselves as elite. You’ve got the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and you’ve certainly got Hazard. Clubs pay these players the big bucks to win them games, and that is what Hazard does.
If you solely consider statistics, Hazard’s Chelsea career does not exactly look outrageous. 110 goals in 352 appearances is by no means an easy feat but, when compared to Ronaldo’s 450 in 438 games for Real or Messi’s 603 in 687 for Barcelona, it is far from eye-catching.
However, Hazard’s game is so much more than that. Throughout his career, he has done his best work away from the stat sheet, using his dribbling and movement to astound opponents, before shifting the spotlight to one of his teammates to get the job done.
Make no mistake about it, Hazard’s dribbling is not your average dribbling. When he gets going, he is nearly unstoppable, using his power and agility to fly past opponents like they weren’t even there, and there are few players in the world who make it look as easy as Hazard does.
Per Who Scored, his tally of 137 successful dribbles last season was by far the highest in the Premier League, and it speaks volumes about his ability to change a game. Whenever he wants to, he can win a match, and there’s rarely anything you can do to stop him.
He racked up 21 goals and 17 assists for good measure, proving that he has the end product to make him one of the world’s most terrifying opponents.
Clubs pay these players the big bucks to win them games, and that is what Hazard does.
There were times last season, and throughout his Chelsea career, when Hazard was the entire reason the Blues won a game. With ten players on his back, Hazard still showcased his genius, dominating opponents and bringing success.
After losing Ronaldo to Juventus last summer, that’s the kind of spark that Real are in desperate need of. The 2018/19 campaign is over, and the less said about it, the better. They needed to pay to improve, and they’ve done exactly that.
Winning games was not as easy at it should have been for Los Blancos, so they’ve shelled out for the human cheat code that is Hazard. Players like him don’t come cheap, but he will soon repay their faith with trophies. After a few La Liga and Champions League titles, this will look like a bargain.