Hazard is missing more games than Bale ever did

Eden Hazard’s signing seemed like a smart move by Real Madrid at the time, and who knows, maybe it could still work out well. Realistically, he was never going to fully make up for the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo but nevertheless he was a brilliant forward, with a good scoring record and at the time he had a year to run on his contract. Madrid paid a large sum for him it’s true but at that time, players were going for big money - Neymar was bought for 222 million, Dembélé for 145 million and Coutinho for 165 million. So the 100 million euros which Madrid paid for Hazard seemed reasonable at the time. And of top of that, he had an almost flawless medical record – a player who had no history of injuries who had hardly missed a game with his two previous clubs, Lille and Chelsea.

Eden Hazard

Hazard's injury problems are a mystery

Yet so far with Madrid he has missed 37 games, and with his latest injury, he could be out for the next seven matches. Even before this new setback, he had only taken played 31% of the total possible playing time – much less than Gareth Bale, who left having played 43% and with a reputation for being injury-prone. Out of all of his physical problems, one was a traumatic injury, while the rest were muscular. For an explanation, you would have to look at how he has been adapting to life in Madrid, his diet, stress, and maybe how he feels about being the focus of attention at one of the biggest clubs in the world. It’s one of the mysteries of football. His latest injury setback comes at a crucial moment for Madrid, although, is there ever an opportune moment?

Atleti with it all to do against Bayern

And while Madrid travel to Kiev without Hazard (but with Benzema), Atlético host Bayern while waiting for news on Luis Suárez, who must undergo a fresh Covid-19 test. The virus which he caught while on duty with Uruguay leaves him doubtful on a decisive evening for Atleti. Simeone, who modified the team’s game around him (and as a result, for benefit of the fans) is keeping his fingers crossed that he passes the test without any problems. Against a Bayern side who will be without Neuer, Goretzka and Lewandowski, having Luis Suárez available would cause for optimism. It would be a sad case of affairs if one moment of imprudence at a party were to end up costing Atleti today’s game.