Eden Hazard

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Hazard: ‘I’m not a Galactico, but I’ll try to be’

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The expectation will be that Eden Hazard set the word alight from day one as Real Madrid’s newest superstar, but the Belgian winger recognizes he must first earn the right to call himself a “Galactico” before he’s considered a full-blooded Madridista.

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Because he’s been a fan of Los Blancos for the longest time, Hazard understands the politics that surround the club and complexity of winning over their fans — quotes from the BBC:

“My dream ever since I was a child has been to play for Real Madrid.”

“I’m not a Galactico, but I’ll try to be, for now I’m Eden Hazard.”

“I don’t think it is too late, I am 28 years old, the best moment for a player.”

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As for what number he’ll wear at Madrid, Hazard is fighting an uphill battle to unseat Luka Modric as the no. 10.

“I’ve been lucky enough to talk to Modric through [Mateo] Kovacic, I jokingly asked him to leave me number 10 and he said no. The number for me is not important.”

VIDEO: Real Madrid presents Eden Hazard to Bernabeu

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Real Madrid’s renovation is not complete, but its mantlepiece is in town.

Eden Hazard was presented to a well-attended Bernabeu on Thursday, minutes after passing his medical and days after being announced as the latest member of Real Madrid.

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Hazard is the highlight of a massive month of signings for Florentino Perez’s men, who will look to rebound from a third place finish in La Liga with the help of Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy, and Eder Militao.

They’ve also signed Brazilian youngster Rodrygo.

There was no number on the back of Hazard’s shirt, with Luka Modric currently occupying the No. 10 shirt.

Hazard, 28, joined Chelsea from Lille in 2012, and posted 110 goals and 92 assists in 352 appearances for the Blues. The Belgian international won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, a League Cup, and two Europa League crowns.

At Real, he’ll have a chance to win a top flight title in a third country, having won Ligue 1 with Lille in 2010-11.

Hazard bids farewell to ‘special’ Chelsea in classy goodbye

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With Eden Hazard’s transfer to Real Madrid complete, announced Friday by both clubs in a deal that could reach as high as $195 million, it was time for the 28-year-old to say goodbye to the Blues after seven years with the club.

Hazard joined Chelsea back in 2012 from French side Lille in a $39 million deal as a 21-year-old. He became a fixture at the club, making 352 appearances across all competitions and scoring 110 goals, plus another 92 assists. Hazard was known at Chelsea for his silky on-ball skills and his ability to cut in front wide areas, a vicious creative force that terrorized the Premier League with his magical moves.

When departing the Premier League club for his “dream” side Real Madrid, Hazard penned a lengthy and heartfelt goodbye to the club that helped him become the best in the world, posting the full statement on his personal Facebook page.

Hazard referred to the London club as “special” multiple times and noted how the fans helped him grow from a young player arriving from France into the world-class attacker he is today.

“I was only 21 when I joined,” Hazard wrote, “so I have grown up as a man and a player with all of you, you have helped me become Captain of the Belgium National team after all. There have of course been tough times, for the team as a whole and for me personally, this is professional football. However, football to me is about having a ball at my feet, playing games and enjoying every moment, we are lucky to play the beautiful game and this is always my advice to those who ask for a coaching tip! Play football and have fun! Even when we were not playing well, I tried to do my best and this has been thanks to your amazing support. That fighting spirit, desire and the refusal to ever give up is part of the culture here at Chelsea and it comes directly from you.”

Some players hope never to play against their longtime former clubs out of a love for the team, but Hazard took a different approach. He knows he’ll miss playing in London, and therefore wants to play against Chelsea as many times as possible in the future, not hoping to beat them over and over, but instead born out of a sheer desire to be in front of the Chelsea fans again.

“Chelsea fans will always be special to me and next season I will look for your results first,” Hazard said. “I hope that we are drawn against each other in the Champions League next season and every season so we can meet again.”

No matter what happens the rest of his career, Eden Hazard will be known as a special Chelsea player who made countless memories for Blues supporters on and off the pitch.

Eden Hazard officially leaves Chelsea to join Real Madrid

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The worst kept secret in European soccer is now official as Real Madrid announced the signing of Eden Hazard on Friday, with the Belgian leaving a seven-year Chelsea career behind to join the Spanish giants.

The deal has been spoken about for months, with only one destination ever truly gaining traction in the rumor mill. With Hazard down to the final year of his Blues contract, the Premier League side was unable to turn down Real Madrid’s lucrative offer.

Hazard signs a five-year contract with Real Madrid that will keep him under club control through the summer of 2024 when Hazard is 33 years old. As reported by L’Equipe way back in mid-May, Hazard’s eventual base sale price is said to be in the $113 million range, and while some reports vary on the potential ceiling of the contract should various add-ons trigger, it seems the deal could reach an eventual total of $165 million, or even as high as $191 million as the BBC reports. The Telegraph reports that the bonuses are tied to relatively low thresholds and the Premier League club is “extremely confident they will receive the full” payment of the deal.

Hazard leaves Chelsea having racked up 352 appearances across all competitions, scoring 110 goals and assisting 92. He appeared 245 times in the Premier League, scoring 85 top-flight goals.

“It’s no secret that it was my dream to play for [Real Madrid] since I was a young boy just scoring my first goal,” Hazard said in a lengthy statement posted to social media. “I have tried my very best not to distract myself or the team through this difficult period of speculation and media attention, especially the last 6 months.”

“Leaving Chelsea is the biggest and toughest decision in my career to date. Now it’s in the open I would like to put on record one thing was always clear to me, I have loved every moment at Chelsea and not once did I ever consider, nor would I have left for any other Club. I was only 21 when I joined, so I have grown up as a man and a player with all of you, you have helped me become Captain of the Belgium National team after all. There have of course been tough times, for the team as a whole and for me personally, this is professional football. However, football to me is about having a ball at my feet, playing games and enjoying every moment, we are lucky to play the beautiful game and this is always my advice to those who ask for a coaching tip! Play football and have fun!”

“The memories he leaves us with will not fade,” said Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia. “He provided all who watched Chelsea play with great entertainment and many match-winning contributions, and for that we thank Eden enormously. He has been a model professional throughout his time at the club, a wonderful individual to have around and a joy to work with.”

Hazard is thought to be the cornerstone piece in what is expected to be a summer of heavy spending for Real Madrid as they work to revamp the squad after failing to win a single trophy last season. Zinedine Zidane is back in charge, and his influence will be strong this summer as the club looks to not only add talent but also create space within the squad.

Chelsea, Real Madrid agree to Hazard transfer

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Eden Hazard is heading to Real Madrid.

Reports from multiple outlets says that Chelsea and Real Madrid have made a breakthrough in negotiations on Thursday, as Real officials have been in London talking to the Premier League club about buying Hazard.

The 28-year-old, who has just one year left on his current contract at Chelsea, will join Real for an initial fee of $112 million, as multiple add-ons now agreed could take the deal to over $165 million.

Yes, Chelsea are losing their influential playmaker, but this deal is as good as they could have got.

It is expected that Real are making plans to make an announcement as soon as early next week as Hazard is currently on international duty with Belgium.

Hazard has pretty much already said his goodbyes to Chelsea after he starred in their UEFA Europa League final victory against Arsenal on May 29.

In the past seven seasons at Chelsea he has won the Premier League title twice, the FA Cup, League Cups and two Europa League trophies.

Hazard is a long-time admirer of Zinedine Zidane, and ever since the French legend returned to take charge of Real Madrid this move was all but a done deal.

Real have had to pay a huge fee for a player who they could sign for free from January 2020 and play for them from July 2020, but given the ground they lost to both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid over the 2018-19 season — Real finished third in La Liga and were dumped out of the UEFA Champions League by Ajax at the Round of 16 stage — they just couldn’t wait to start their rebuild.

After signing striker Luka Jovic, defender Eder Militao and forward Rodrygo, this deal for Hazard means that Real have already spent close to $300 million this summer.

Hazard will be key to the new-look Real side and he has handled this situation in the correct manner. He has never told Chelsea fans he is definitely staying and has never dropped his levels in both effort and quality on the pitch.

Chelsea have also got a pretty phenomenal deal all things considered, but there is now extra pressure on USMNT star Christian Pulisic who will be Chelsea’s only new arrival until July 2020 due to their current transfer ban from FIFA. The Blues are currently appealing that ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) but as things stand, Pulisic will be the main to try and fill the void left by Hazard. No pressure…

As for Hazard’s new club, the Belgian wizard will grace the Santiago Bernabeu with ease and will take over the mantle as the star man who will lead the charge against Barcelona and Lionel Messi.

Losing Hazard is a blow for the Premier League and Chelsea, and for Real Madrid it’s the first piece of the jigsaw in a much-needed rebuild under Zidane.