Fans of Eden Hazard’s last two clubs share a widely different perspective on his career. While he was merrily adorned with laurels from his tenure at Chelsea, onlookers in Real Madrid eventually abhorred his spell.
After joining Real Madrid in a transfer worth up to €150 million, Hazard struggled to live up to the astronomical price tag with fitness issues, irregularities in playtime and his waning physicality all culminating in a pre-mature retirement.
Having hung up his boots at the age of 32, recent memory may cloud one’s judgment, but before his body started to give up on him, he was cherished as one of football’s great artists.
Speaking in an interview with L’Equipe, the Belgian compared his talents when he was in his heyday to some of the most widely acclaimed footballers of this generation.
Only one superior
When questioned about players superior to him in terms of talent, Hazard heralded the greatest player from Real Madrid’s arch-rival team, Lionel Messi.
“Individually, Messi is perhaps the only one. I enjoyed seeing the one in Barcelona, but less towards the end, but he is the greatest player in history,” he remarked.
Expectedly diverting the attention to Cristiano Ronaldo, he acknowledged the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s superior career but put himself above Cristiano in terms of pure talent.
“Cristiano is a greater player than me but, in terms of pure football, honestly, I don’t think so,” he added.
Naming some of the other elite players in the realm of football who have etched their names in history, Hazard stated:
“Neymar, maybe. Afterward, not better than me but, at Real Madrid, you have the best, also in relation to their career, Benzema, Modrić they were on top, and Kroos, Kevin De Bruyne, they breathe football.”
Real Madrid do not want to pay ‘crazy money’ for top defensive target – Romano
As has been reported by multiple reliable sources today, Alphonso Davies is likely to be on his way to Real Madrid from Bayern Munich in the summer.
It has been suggested that the 23-year-old Canadian left-back already has a verbal agreement with Los Blancos over a transfer either this summer or in 2025, when his contract with the Bundesliga champions runs down.
Now, the idea is for Real Madrid to start negotiations with Bayern Munich over a transfer fee so that a mutually beneficial agreement can be reached for the summer window.
Real Madrid will not pay crazy money
Amidst all this, Fabrizio Romano has come out with an update claiming that Real Madrid do not intend to pay ‘crazy money’ to sign Davies from Bayern Munich given that he will be entering the final year of his contract.
The Italian transfer expert claims that Real Madrid have been the preferred destination for Davies for a while now and that the personal terms between the two parties will not be an issue at all.
So, a summer move would now hinge on Bayern Munich’s asking price for their left-back.
Romano states that the Bavarian giants will attempt to tie Davies down to a new contract until May or even June.
But if the left-back, who is demanding hefty wages worth around €20 million, does not agree to sign, they will be forced to sell instead of losing him for free next year.
In that scenario, Real Madrid will be best-placed to sign Davies, although Los Blancos will not go overboard with their spending on the Canadian.